England women's national football team

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England
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s) "Three Lionesses", "The Lionesses"
Association The Football Association
Confederation UEFA (Europe)
Head coach Mark Sampson
Captain Steph Houghton
Most caps Fara Williams (150)
Top scorer Kelly Smith (46)
FIFA code ENG
First colours
Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current 5 Decrease 1 (26 August 2016)[1]
Highest 4 (March 2016)
Lowest 14 (June 2004)
First international
 Scotland 2–3 England 
(Greenock, Scotland; 18 November 1972)
Biggest win
 Hungary 0–13 England 
(Tapolca, Hungary; 27 October 2005)
Biggest defeat
 Norway 8–0 England 
(Moss, Norway; 4 June 2000)
World Cup
Appearances 4 (First in 1995)
Best result Third place (2015)
UEFA Women's Championship
Appearances 8 (First in 1984)
Best result Runner-up (1984, 2009)

The England women's national football team represents England in international women's association football. The team has been governed by the Football Association (FA) since 1993, having been previously administered by the Women's Football Association (WFA). England played its first international match in November 1972 against Scotland. Although most national football teams represent a sovereign state, as a member of the United Kingdom's Home Nations, England is permitted by FIFA statutes to maintain its own national side that competes in all major tournaments, with the exception of the Women's Olympic Football Tournament.

England has qualified for the FIFA Women's World Cup four times, reaching the quarter final stage on the first three occasions in 1995, 2007, and 2011, and finishing third in 2015. They reached the final of the UEFA Women's Championship in 1984 and 2009.

History[edit]

Early years[edit]

The success of the men's national football team at the 1966 FIFA World Cup led to an upsurge of interest in football from women within England. The Women's Football Association (WFA) was established a few years later in 1969 as an attempt to organise the women's game.[2] That same year, Harry Batt formed an independent English team that competed in the Fédération Internationale Européenne de Football Féminine (FIEFF) European Cup.[3]:43 Batt's team also participated in two FIEFF World Cups held in Italy (1970) and Mexico (1971).[4][5]

Following an UEFA recommendation in 1972 for national associations to incorporate the women's game, the Football Association (FA) rescinded its fifty-year ban on women playing on Football League grounds.[6][7]

Shortly after, Eric Worthington was tasked by the WFA to assemble an official women's national team. England competed in its first international match against Scotland in Greenock on 18 November 1972, almost 100 years after the first men's international.[2][8]

The team overturned a two-goal deficit to defeat their northern opponents by 3 goals to 2, with Sylvia Gore scoring England's first international goal.[9] Tom Tranter replaced Worthington as long term manager of the women's national football team and remained in that position for the next six years.[3]:94

1979–1993: Progress under Reagan[edit]

Martin Reagan was appointed to replace Tranter in 1979.[3]:100 England reached the finals of the inaugural European Competition for Women's Football, after beating Denmark 3–1 on aggregate in the semi-finals. The England team lost the first away leg 1–0 against Sweden, after a header from Pia Sundhage, but won the second home leg by the same margin, with a goal from Linda Curl.[10] England lost the subsequent penalty shootout 4–3. Theresa Wiseman saved Helen Johansson's penalty but both Curl and Lorraine Hanson had their spot kicks saved by Elisabeth Leidinge.[11]

At the 1987 European Competition for Women's Football, England again reached the semi-finals but lost 3–2 after extra time against holders Sweden, in a repeat of the previous final. The team settled for fourth, after losing the third place play off against Italy 2–1.[12]

Reagan was sacked after England's 6–1 quarter-final loss against Germany at the 1991 UEFA Women's Championship, which left them unable to qualify for the inaugural FIFA Women's World Cup. John Bilton was appointed as head coach in 1991 after Barrie Williams's brief tenure.[3]:103–104

1993–1998: FA involvement[edit]

In 1993, the FA took over the running of women's football in England from the WFA, replacing Bilton with Ted Copeland as national team manager.[3]:105 England managed to qualify for the 1995 UEFA Women's Championship, having previously missed out on the last three editions, but were beaten 6–2 on aggregate over two legs against Germany.[13] Reaching the European semi-finals granted England a place at the World Cup for the first time. The team advanced from the group stages of the 1995 FIFA Women's World Cup in Sweden, but lost out again to Germany 3–0 in the quarter-finals.[14]

1998–2013: Development under Powell[edit]

Hope Powell became the team's first full-time head coach in June 1998, succeeding her former coach Copeland.[15]

The European Championship expanded in 1997 to eight teams and moved from a biennial event to a quadrennial one. England qualified via the play offs for the 2001 competition held in Germany, despite recording their biggest loss (away against Norway 8–0) during qualification, but did not advance past the group stages.[16] England automatically qualified as hosts in 2005, but again did not make it to the semi-finals.[17]

Qualification for the World Cup changed for the 1999 edition. European qualifiers were introduced, so that teams no longer needed to rely on advancing to the latter stages of the European Championship. England qualified unbeaten for the 2007 World Cup in China, winning Group 5 in the European qualifiers and recording their biggest win (away against Hungary, 13–0) in the process, ending a 12-year hiatus from the competition.[18][19] After coming second in their group, they advanced into the quarter-finals to face the United States but lost 3–0.[20]

In May 2009, central contracts were implemented to help players focus on full-time training without having to fit it around full-time employment.[21][22] Three months later, at the European Championships in Finland, England marked their return to the recently expanded twelve team competition by reaching the final for the first time in 25 years. They advanced from Group C to the quarter-finals by virtue of being the top third placed team, beating both the hosts and the Netherlands in the knockout stages on the way to the final. There they lost 6–2 to reigning champions Germany.[23]

England reached their third World Cup in 2011, having won Group 5 and their play off 5–2 over two legs against Switzerland.[24][25] In Germany, they topped Group B – ahead of eventual winners Japan.[26]

England were paired with France in the quarter-finals, with the match ending in a 1–1 draw. England had taken the lead with Jill Scott's chip, only to have Élise Bussaglia equalise with two minutes remaining. After extra time ended in stalemate, they lost the ensuing penalty shootout 4–3. Karen Bardsley had saved Camille Abily's initial penalty but misses by Claire Rafferty and Faye White sent England out of the competition.[27]

Powell left the role in August 2013 after a poor showing at the 2013 UEFA Women's Championship, with England bowing out early at the group stages.[15]

2013–present: Recent form[edit]

Mark Sampson succeeded Powell as England manager. England qualified for their third successive World Cup in August 2014 with a game to spare, winning all ten matches and topping Group 6.[28]

England played their first international match at the new Wembley Stadium, home to the men's national team, in a friendly against the reigning European champions Germany on 23 November 2014. England had not played Germany since their heavy defeat in the European Championship final five years earlier. They lost the match 3–0, marking the 20th attempt at which England had failed to record an official win over Germany.[29][30]

2015 FIFA Women's World Cup[edit]

At the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup in Canada, England lost their opening group game to France 1–0 in Moncton, with a long range goal from French midfielder Eugenie Le Sommer in the first half, however Mark Sampson praised the performance, despite criticism from the media. England then won their remaining group games against Mexico and Colombia, easing through to the last 16 to play 1995 champions Norway. After a scoreless first half, Norway managed to score first through Solveig Gulbrandsen's header off a corner kick, but England rallied as captain Steph Houghton answered with a header of her own off a corner and Lucy Bronze fired in a powerful long-range strike to give England a 2–1 win. It marked England's first-ever knockout stage win at a Women's World Cup and a ticket to the quarterfinals to face host nation Canada.

Despite facing not only a strong Canadian team but a capacity partisan crowd at BC Place in Vancouver, England took control with two quick goals from Jodie Taylor's finish off a mistake from Lauren Sesselmann and Bronze's header off the crossbar from a free kick. Christine Sinclair managed to score a goal back for Canada, but it was not enough for the hosts and England progressed to the semifinals of the Women's World Cup for the first time in their history, becoming the first England team of any gender to reach a World Cup semi final since the England men's team at the 1990 World Cup in Italy, which had included Paul Gascoigne and Gary Lineker in addition to Sir Bobby Robson as coach.

England played reigning World Cup holders Japan in Edmonton, and they managed to impose themselves physically very well on Japan, however they conceded a penalty kick, and Aya Miyama of Japan converted it past Karen Bardsley. Replays showed the foul was committed outside the penalty area, and it should have been a free kick. Just a couple of minutes later, Japan conceded a penalty as Yuki Ogimi clipped Steph Houghton's left heel, although the contact seemed slight, and Fara Williams slotted it past Ayumi Kaihori to level the game. However, in the last minute of the game, Laura Bassett scored an own goal to send Japan through to the final. Bassett broke down in tears, along with other members of the England team. These images were compared to that of Gascoigne in 1990, when he cried after he was booked, and ultimately England were eliminated on penalties against West Germany; about the own goal, it was considered as a replay of Colombia's Andrés Escobar's infamous own goal during the 1994 FIFA World Cup held in the United States, which had led to Colombia losing 1–2 to the US, crashing out of the tournament and Escobar being murdered.[31] Immediate reaction was tremendously supportive towards Bassett and Mark Sampson called her a hero and one of his best players throughout the tournament.[32] Support also came from the football community for Bassett and England from American counterparts Mia Hamm, Julie Foudy and Brandi Chastain – all members of the famous team that won the 1999 Women's World Cup as hosts – as well as opposite numbers from the England men's team and FA management including captain Wayne Rooney, Jack Wilshere, Rio Ferdinand, Gary Lineker, Glenn Hoddle and FA president Prince William.[citation needed]

England eventually finished in third place by beating Germany for the first time in 21 meetings, 1–0, after Lianne Sanderson won a penalty off a Tabea Kemme foul in the 108th minute that Williams converted past German captain and keeper Nadine Angerer.[33] It not only gave them the bronze medal and the best placing of any European team in the tournament but also marked the best performance by a senior English team, male or female, since an England men's team coached by Sir Alf Ramsey and including Bobby Charlton and Bobby Moore had famously won the 1966 World Cup as hosts. In the process, England also denied a podium finish for Angerer and coach Silvia Neid – the two remaining pieces from the German teams that had won consecutive Women's World Cups in 2003 in the United States and 2007 in China – in their final World Cup.

It is hoped that the victorious 2015 campaign will usher in more success for women's football in England with the FA WSL and even more players playing the game, in a similar fashion to the 2012 Summer Olympics plus the FA Women's Cup final between Chelsea Ladies and Notts County Ladies being played at Wembley Stadium for the very first time. At the beginning of the tournament, Houghton said the team wanted to "inspire a nation", and English fans spoke of being revitalized by the Lionesses' success, as the men's team had crashed out of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil at the group stage following losses to Italy and Uruguay.[34]

Competitive record[edit]

England team in February 2015

World Cup[edit]

England have qualified for the FIFA Women's World Cup four times (1995, 2007, 2011, 2015) and failed to qualify for three competitions (1991, 1999, 2003). The England team reached the quarter final stage on three occasions, losing out to Germany in 1995, the United States in 2007 and France on penalties in 2011. In 2015, however, England earned the bronze medal for the first time, under Mark Sampson, by beating Germany in the third place play-off.

World Cup finals
Year Result GP W D* L GF GA GD
China 1991 Did not qualify - - - - - - -
Sweden 1995 Quarter-finals 4 2 0 2 6 9 −3
United States 1999 Did not qualify - - - - - - -
United States 2003 Did not qualify - - - - - - -
China 2007 Quarter-finals 4 1 2 1 8 6 +2
Germany 2011 Quarter-finals 4 2 2 0 6 3 +3
Canada 2015 Third Place 7 5 0 2 10 7 +3
France 2019 To be determined
Total 4/7 19 10 4 5 30 25 +5
*Draws include knockout matches decided on penalty kicks.

European Championship[edit]

England first entered the UEFA Women's Championship in 1984, reaching the final that year and in 2009. The England team has reached the semi-finals on two other occasions (1989, 1995) but only managed to make the group stages in three editions (2001, 2005, 2013). The team did not qualify in 1989, 1991, 1993 and 1997.

Year Result GP W D* L GF GA
No Host 1984 Runners-up 4 3 0 1 4 2
Norway 1987 Fourth Place 2 0 0 2 3 5
Germany 1989 Did not qualify
Denmark 1991 Did not qualify
Italy 1993 Did not qualify
No Host 1995 Semi-final 2 0 0 2 2 6
Norway Sweden 1997 Did not qualify
Germany 2001 Group Stage 3 0 1 2 1 8
England 2005 Group Stage 3 1 0 2 4 5
Finland 2009 Runners-up 6 3 1 2 12 14
Sweden 2013 Group Stage 3 0 1 2 3 7
Netherlands 2017 Qualified
Total 8/12 23 7 3 13 29 47
*Draws include knockout matches decided on penalty kicks.
**Red border colour denotes tournament was held on home soil.

Olympic Games[edit]

England do not participate in the Women's Olympic Football Tournament, as the country does not have its own National Olympic Committee (NOC). Members of its team have played for the Great Britain women's Olympic football team at the 2012 Summer Olympics. Since England falls under the jurisdiction of the British Olympic Association, remit for an Olympic football team requires support from all four Home Nation associations. The Scottish Football Association (SFA), the Football Association of Wales (FAW) and the Irish Football Association (IFA) have all previously objected to the premise over fears that the team would erode the independence of their individual football associations.[35]

Minor tournaments[edit]

Year Round Position GP W D* L GS GA
England 1976 Pony Home Championship Winners, group stage 1st 2 2 0 0 9 1
Italy 1979 Unofficial European Championship Semi Final 4th 4 2 1 1 6 4
Japan 1981 Mundialito Group Stage 3rd 2 1 0 1 4 1
Italy 1984 Mundialito Semi Final 3rd 4 0 2 2 3 6
Italy 1985 Mundialito Winners 1st 2 3 1 1 13 5
Italy 1988 Mundialito Winners 1st 4 3 1 0 8 2
United States 1990 North America Cup Group Stage 3rd 4 1 1 2 3 7
Portugal 2002 Algarve Cup Group Stage 9th 4 1 0 3 8 12
Portugal 2005 Algarve Cup Group Stage 8th 4 3 1 0 13 0
China 2007 Four Nations Tournament Group Stage 4th 3 0 2 1 3 0
Cyprus 2009 Cyprus Cup Winners 1st 4 3 1 0 14 3
Cyprus 2010 Cyprus Cup Group Stage 5th 4 2 1 1 6 5
South Korea 2010 Peace Queen Cup Group Stage 2nd 2 0 2 0 0 0
Cyprus 2011 Cyprus Cup Group Stage 5th 4 2 0 2 4 4
Cyprus 2012 Cyprus Cup Group Stage 4th 4 2 0 2 5 7
Cyprus 2013 Cyprus Cup Winners 1st 4 3 1 0 12 7
Cyprus 2014 Cyprus Cup Final 2nd 4 3 0 1 7 2
Cyprus 2015 Cyprus Cup Winners 1st 4 3 1 0 8 2
United States 2016 SheBelieves Cup Group Stage 3rd 3 0 1 2 1 3
Total 6 titles 66 34 16 19 127 71

Players[edit]

For all past and present players who have appeared for the national team, see List of England women's international footballers (alphabetical)

Current squad[edit]

The following players were called up for a training camp in August 2016.[36]

Head coach: Mark Sampson

0#0 Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1GK Karen Bardsley (1984-10-14) 14 October 1984 (age 31) 55 0 England Manchester City
1GK Siobhan Chamberlain (1983-08-15) 15 August 1983 (age 33) 34 0 England Liverpool
1GK Rebecca Spencer (1991-02-22) 22 February 1991 (age 25) 0 0 England Chelsea

2DF Laura Bassett (1983-08-02) 2 August 1983 (age 33) 56 2 England Notts County
2DF Lucy Bronze (1991-10-28) 28 October 1991 (age 24) 26 4 England Manchester City
2DF Gilly Flaherty (1991-08-24) 24 August 1991 (age 25) 3 0 England Chelsea
2DF Steph Houghton (Captain) (1988-04-23) 23 April 1988 (age 28) 66 8 England Manchester City
2DF Alex Scott (1984-10-14) 14 October 1984 (age 31) 129 12 England Arsenal
2DF Demi Stokes (1991-12-12) 12 December 1991 (age 24) 18 1 England Manchester City
2DF Casey Stoney (1982-05-13) 13 May 1982 (age 34) 124 6 England Arsenal

3MF Isobel Christiansen (1991-09-20) 20 September 1991 (age 25) 5 2 England Manchester City
3MF Jade Moore (1990-10-22) 22 October 1990 (age 25) 16 1 England Notts County
3MF Jordan Nobbs (1992-12-08) 8 December 1992 (age 23) 24 3 England Arsenal
3MF Josanne Potter (1984-11-13) 13 November 1984 (age 31) 24 3 England Notts County
3MF Jill Scott (1987-02-02) 2 February 1987 (age 29) 102 15 England Manchester City
3MF Fara Williams (1984-01-25) 25 January 1984 (age 32) 148 40 England Arsenal

4FW Karen Carney (1987-08-01) 1 August 1987 (age 29) 110 25 England Chelsea
4FW Danielle Carter (1993-05-18) 18 May 1993 (age 23) 1 3 England Arsenal
4FW Rachel Daly (1991-12-06) 6 December 1991 (age 24) 1 1 United States Houston Dash
4FW Gemma Davison (1987-04-17) 17 April 1987 (age 29) 8 2 England Chelsea
4FW Leah Galton (1994-05-24) 24 May 1994 (age 22) 0 0 United States Sky Blue FC
4FW Nikita Parris (1994-03-10) 10 March 1994 (age 22) 2 2 England Manchester City
4FW Ellen White (1989-05-09) 9 May 1989 (age 27) 55 17 England Notts County

Recent callups[edit]

The following players have also been called up to the England squad within the last twelve months.

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
GK Carly Telford (1987-07-07) 7 July 1987 (age 29) 7 0 England Notts County v.  Serbia, 7 June 2016
GK Rachael Laws (1990-11-05) 5 November 1990 (age 25) 0 0 England Sunderland v.  Bosnia and Herzegovina, 29 November 2015
GK Mary Earps (1993-03-07) 7 March 1993 (age 23) 0 0 England Bristol Academy v.  Australia, 27 October 2015

DF Alex Greenwood (1993-09-07) 7 September 1993 (age 23) 17 1 England Liverpool v.  Serbia, 7 June 2016
DF Amy Turner (1991-07-04) 4 July 1991 (age 25) 4 0 England Notts County v.  Bosnia and Herzegovina, 29 November 2015
DF Jemma Rose (1992-01-19) 19 January 1992 (age 24) 1 0 England Arsenal v.  Bosnia and Herzegovina, 29 November 2015
DF Hannah Blundell (1994-05-25) 25 May 1994 (age 22) 0 0 England Chelsea v.  Australia, 27 October 2015

MF Laura Coombs (1991-01-29) 29 January 1991 (age 25) 2 0 England Liverpool (on loan from Chelsea) v.  Australia, 27 October 2015
MF Drew Spence (1992-10-23) 23 October 1992 (age 23) 1 0 England Chelsea v.  Australia, 27 October 2015

FW Fran Kirby (1993-06-29) 29 June 1993 (age 23) 15 5 England Chelsea v.  Serbia, 7 June 2016
FW Jodie Taylor (1986-05-17) 17 May 1986 (age 30) 15 5 England Arsenal v.  Serbia, 7 June 2016
FW Jessica Clarke (1989-05-05) 5 May 1989 (age 27) 52 11 England Notts County v.  Bosnia and Herzegovina, 29 November 2015
FW Lianne Sanderson (1988-02-03) 3 February 1988 (age 28) 50 15 United States Orlando Pride v.  Australia, 27 October 2015
FW Beth Mead (1995-05-09) 9 May 1995 (age 21) 0 0 England Sunderland v.  Australia, 27 October 2015

Player records[edit]

Fara Williams holds the record for England appearances, having played 150 times since 2001. She overtook previous record holder Rachel Yankey in August 2014, in a friendly against Sweden.[37] Yankey had passed Gillian Coultard's 119 record England women caps in September 2012, in a European qualifying match against Croatia, and Peter Shilton's 125 record England international caps in June 2013, in a friendly against Japan.[38] Alex Scott is the third highest capped female England player with 127, followed by Casey Stoney with 123 caps. Coultard has the fifth highest number of England caps.

Kelly Smith has scored the highest number of goals for England, with 46 over a twenty-year international career. She surpassed Karen Walker's 40 goal record in September 2010, in a World Cup qualifying play off against Switzerland.[39]

Most capped players[edit]

# Name Caps Goals Years Ref
1 Williams, FaraFara Williams 150 40 2001–present [40]
2 Yankey, RachelRachel Yankey 129 19 1997–present [41]
3 Scott, AlexAlex Scott 127 12 2004–present [42]
4 Stoney, CaseyCasey Stoney 123 6 2000–present [43]
5 Coultard, GillianGillian Coultard 119 30 1981–2000 [44]

Top goalscorers[edit]

# Name Caps Goals Years Ref
1 Smith, KellyKelly Smith 117 46 1995–2015 [45]
2 Walker, KarenKaren Walker 83 40 1988–2003 [46]
2 Williams, FaraFara Williams 150 40 2001–present [40]
4 Powell, HopeHope Powell 66 35 1983–1998 [47]
5 Aluko, EniolaEniola Aluko 95 32 2004–present [48]

Captains[edit]

Player Year
Carol McCune 1976–1985
Debbie Bampton 1985–1991
Gillian Coultard 1991–1995
Debbie Bampton 1995–1997
Gillian Coultard 1997–2000
Mo Marley 2000–2001
Tara Proctor 2001
Karen Walker 2002
Faye White 2002–2012
Casey Stoney 2012–2014
Steph Houghton 2014–present

2015–16 Results & fixtures[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  7. ^ Williams, Jean (2003). A Game for Rough Girls? A History of Women's Football in Britain. London: Routledge. p. 36. ISBN 1135136149. 
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  21. ^ Leighton, Tony (14 May 2009). "FA boosts England's women's team with central contracts". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 March 2015. 
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  23. ^ Ashenden, Mark (10 September 2009). "England 2–6 Germany". BBC Sport. Retrieved 17 March 2015. 
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  28. ^ Leighton, Tony (17 September 2014). "England Women thrash Montenegro 10–0 in qualifier". BBC Sport. Retrieved 17 March 2015. 
  29. ^ Thompson, Anna (23 November 2014). "BBC Sport – England 0–3 Germany". BBC Sport. Retrieved 17 March 2015. 
  30. ^ "Deutschland vs England" (in German). German Football Association. Retrieved 17 March 2015. 
  31. ^ "England's Laura Bassett's tears bring back Italia 90 memories". BBC Sport. 2 July 2015. Retrieved 5 July 2015. 
  32. ^ "Women's World Cup: England are heroes, says Mark Sampson". BBC Sport. 2 July 2015. Retrieved 5 July 2015. 
  33. ^ Germany Women 0 – England Women 1
  34. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/33085949
  35. ^ "Football Association wants Great Britain sides at Rio Olympics". BBC Sport. 3 March 2015. Retrieved 25 March 2015. 
  36. ^ "Lionesses squad named for a week-long training camp Read more at http://www.thefa.com/news/england/womens/2016/aug/squad-training-camp-st-geroges-park-leah-galton-rebecca-spencer#79SpDyhjiXwmmLW8.99". The FA. 11 August 2016. Retrieved 11 August 2016.  External link in |title= (help)
  37. ^ Dunn, Carrie. "From sleeping rough to England's caps record: the inspirational story of Fara Williams". Eurosport. Retrieved 21 March 2015. 
  38. ^ "Rachel Yankey breaks Peter Shilton's 125 England caps". BBC Sport. 26 June 2013. Retrieved 21 March 2015. 
  39. ^ "Smith's six of the best". FIFA. 4 February 2015. Retrieved 21 March 2015. 
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  42. ^ "Alex Scott". The Football Association. Retrieved 18 March 2015. 
  43. ^ "Casey Stoney". The Football Association. Retrieved 18 March 2015. 
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  46. ^ "Walker announces retirement". BBC Sport. 3 June 2003. Retrieved 18 March 2015. 
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  48. ^ "Eniola Aluko". The Football Association. Retrieved 18 March 2015. 

External links[edit]