Nikita Parris

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Nikita Parris
20171004 UWCL SKN-MCW StPoelten Nikita Parris 850 1186.jpg
Parris with Manchester City in 2017
Personal information
Full name Nikita Josephine Parris[1]
Date of birth (1994-03-10) 10 March 1994 (age 26)
Place of birth Toxteth, England[2]
Height 1.62 m (5 ft 4 in)[1]
Position(s) Forward
Club information
Current team
Olympique Lyonnais
Number 17
Youth career
Kingsley United
2008–2010 Everton Ladies COE
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2011–2015 Everton 37 (12)
2015Manchester City (loan) 13 (4)
2016–2019 Manchester City 59 (33)
2019– Olympique Lyonnais 15 (8)
National team
2009–2010 England U17 8 (2)
2010–2013 England U19 26 (18)
2014 England U20 3 (1)
2014–2016 England U23 12 (6)
2016– England 50 (14)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 23:30, 13 March 2020 (UTC)
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 22:55, 4 May 2020 (UTC)

Nikita Josephine Parris (born 10 March 1994) is an English professional footballer who plays as a forward for Olympique Lyonnais and the England national team. She previously played for Manchester City and Everton in England's Women's Super League (FA WSL).

From 2018 to 2020, Parris held the record as all-time leading scorer in the Women's Super League.[3][4] With Lyon, Parris has won the 2019–20 UEFA Women's Champions League, the 2020 Coupe de France Féminine (Women's French Cup), the 2019 Trophée des Championnes, and the 2019 Women's International Champions Cup. With Manchester City, she won the 2016 and 2018–19 Women's Super League Cup as well as the 2016–17 and 2018–19 Women's FA Cup.

For England, she won the 2019 SheBelieves Cup and was the top scorer during qualification for the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup. She previously represented her country on numerous youth national teams and competed at the 2014 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup and 2013 UEFA Women's Under-19 Championship.

Parris was named the FWA Women's Footballer of the Year in 2019.

Early life[edit]

I always said to my mum, ‘I’m going to play football for a living’ and she was like ‘but girls don’t play football. There’s no team like the men. There’s no pathway.’ And I used to say, ‘But there will be.'

Nikita Parris, Gaffer [5]

Born in Toxteth, an inner city area of Liverpool,[6] Parris was raised with her twin sister and two brothers by her mother, Jo, who worked three jobs to support the family.[7]

Parris attended St. Patrick’s Primary School in Liverpool where she trained with the athletic team and dreamed of playing like Arsenal and Scottish international player, Julie Fleeting.[8] At age six, she began playing football with boys on a grass border near her home and continued playing with boys until she was 16. Every time her mother looked out, she would see Parris slide tackling the boys or them slide tackling her.[7]

As a youth, Parris started her own football team: "I started a football team myself at the age of eleven because I wanted to have a women’s team in the local community. So, I gathered all my friends and family and everyone I knew... and we were successful. We won the league."[5] Parris' sister and two cousins also played in the team, which was called Kingsley United.[9]

Parris was a girlhood Liverpool FC supporter. Her mum often bought her the latest kit, and she would emulate her favourite players Michael Owen, Fernando Torres and Luis Suárez.[10] At age 10, Parris was recruited by Mo Marley, head coach of Everton.[7] At the time, Parris did not want to leave, but later joined Everton's Centre of Excellence at age 14.[7] She earned a degree in Sports Development from Liverpool John Moores University.[11]

Club career[edit]


Parris made her senior team debut for Everton in August 2010 at the age of 17 during the qualifying tournament for the 2010–11 UEFA Women's Champions League.[12] The following year, she was named to Everton's squad for the inaugural season of the Women's Super League (FA WSL). She made three appearances during the 2011 FA WSL season.[13]

During the 2012 FA WSL season, Parris played in 10 matches, starting five. The 2013 season marked the start of Parris' goalscoring prowess for Everton. She scored six goals in 11 games.[13] She scored the game-winning goal in a 1–0 win over Notts County on September 15.[13] Her brace against her hometown of Liverpool on September 12 was Everton's only goals in the 4–2 loss.[13] Everton finished in third place during the regular season with a 7–3–4 record.[13]

Parris scored 11 goals in 19 games during the 2014 season, but Everton went winless in the league and were relegated to FA WSL 2.[14] Her 2014 performance placed her on the shortlist for the 2015 PFA Women's Young Player of the Year[15] and WSL Team of the Year.[16]

Manchester City, 2015 (loan)[edit]

Parris joined Manchester City on a season-long loan in January 2015, reuniting with former teammates Toni Duggan and Jill Scott, who had left Everton two seasons prior, as she thought she needed to play in WSL 1 to contend for a place on the senior England national team.[14] Parris scored four goals in 13 matches. She scored her first goal — a game-winner — during a match against Sunderland when she headed in from a corner kick in the 17th minute.[17] During a match against her hometown of Liverpool, she scored an equaliser in the 54th minute, another header off of Izzy Christiansen's free-kick.[18] Manchester City finished in second place during the regular season with 9–2–3 record.[13]

Manchester City, 2016–19[edit]

Parris signed with Manchester City on a two-year contract in January 2016.[19] During the 2016 FA WSL season, she scored one goal in 16 games. On April 29, her game-winning goal in the 40th minute cemented the team's 2-0 win against Sunderland.[20] City finished in first place during the regular season with 13–0–3 record.[13] She played in all three games of the Final Stages of the League Cup helping Manchester City clinch the 2016 title.[21]

Parris heads the ball during a 2017–18 UEFA Women's Champions League match, October 2017

In November 2017, Parris signed a new contract with Manchester City through the end of the 2018–19 season.[22] During the 2017 FA WSL season, she scored three goals in the six games that she played.[13] Manchester City finished in fifth place with a 2–1–1 record.[13] During the 2018–19 season, Parris scored 19 goals in 19 games. She was the second-highest scorer in the league for the season, the highest all-time WSL goalscorer, and second in the all-time assists.[23] Manchester City finished in second place behind Arsenal with a 14–1–5 record.[13] Parris' brace against Chelsea in the semifinal[24] earned City a berth to the 2018–19 FA Women's League Cup Final where they defeated Arsenal in penalty kicks after a 0–0 draw and extra time.[25]

On 11 May 2019, Parris announced she would leave City at the end of the 2018–19 season.[26] During her time at Manchester City, Parris made 127 appearances for the club, and scored 62 goals. The striker helped Manchester City win two FA Cups in 2017 and 2019, two Continental Cups, a league title and two Champions League semi-finals.[27] In 2019, Parris was voted the Football Writers’ Association Women's Player of the Year.[27]

Olympique Lyonnais, 2019–[edit]

On 19 June 2019, Parris' signing with Division 1 Féminine side Olympique Lyonnais was officially confirmed by the club.[28] Parris scored her first league goal for the club, on her debut, in a 6–0 win against Olympique Marseille on 24 August.[29] The 2019–20 Division 1 Féminine season was curtailed by the COVID-19 pandemic in France and Parris' two goals in a 5–0 home win over Montpellier on February 23 proved to be the final match of the campaign. She scored eight goals in 15 league appearances (10 starts).[30] She added four goals in six 2019–20 UEFA Women's Champions League appearances,[30] but missed the final through suspension after she was sent off in a fractious semi-final win over rivals Paris Saint-Germain.[31]

During a match against ASJ Soyaux Charente on 13 November 2020, Parris scored a double to lift Lyon to a 5–1 win.[32]

International career[edit]

Parris (right) playing for England in October 2018

On 4 June 2016, Parris made her senior international debut for England, coming on as a substitute in England's Euro 2017 qualifying victory over Serbia, registering one assist as England won 7–0.[33] Three days later, Parris once again came off the bench in the reverse fixture, this time scoring twice as England repeated the 7–0 scoreline.[34]

On 27 June 2017, Parris scored her first goal in a major tournament, netting the winner in England's 2–1 group stage win against Portugal at Euro 2017.[35]

Parris and her England team-mates pointedly ran to celebrate with coach Mark Sampson after her goal in their next match against Russia. At the time Sampson was facing various allegations of unfair treatment and discrimination from disgruntled former England player Eniola Aluko. Aluko publicly criticised her former team-mates for their solidarity with Sampson, branding them selfish, disrespectful and in need of diversity training.[36] Sampson was fired the day after the Russia game but later won a "significant" settlement when he brought an unfair dismissal case against The FA.[37] In June 2020, against the backdrop of the Black Lives Matter movement, Parris changed her mind about the situation and apologised to Aluko in an open letter. She called the celebration with coach Sampson a "thoughtless action" that showed a lack of empathy, understanding and ignorance.[38]

Nikita Parris (left) playing for England in 2019.

On 2 March 2019, Parris scored against the United States in a 2–2 draw at the 2019 SheBelieves Cup, a tournament England won.[39]

2019 FIFA Women's World Cup[edit]

Parris represented England at the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup. After finishing as England's top scorer in qualifying with six goals, Parris scored her first World Cup goal and England's first in the 2019 World Cup during their opening group game, a penalty in a 2–1 win over Scotland.[40] She was named FIFA's Player of the Match.[41] Parris also took a penalty in England's next game, the fourth consecutive World Cup match England had won a penalty in, but had it saved by Argentina goalkeeper Vanina Correa. England won 1–0.[42] Parris missed her second penalty in a 3–0 win over Norway in the knockout stages of the tournament.

England manager Phil Neville added: "She's missed two penalties and they have both been really good saves. She'll take the next one. She is our best penalty taker."[43] However, when England were awarded yet another penalty in their 2–1 semi final defeat by the United States, Neville demoted Parris from penalty-taking duties in favour of the captain Steph Houghton.[44] Houghton's poorly-struck penalty was saved and England went on to finish the tournament in fourth place.[45]

On 29 August, Parris revived her penalty form by rescuing a 3–3 draw against Belgium in an international friendly.[46] This was followed, five days later, by an assist for Georgia Stanway's opener in a 2–1 defeat to Norway.[47]

Career statistics[edit]


As of match played 12 October 2019[13]
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League Cup Europe Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Everton 2009–10[48] WPL National 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
2011 WSL 3 0 0 0 5[a] 2 8 2
2012 10 0 3 0 13 0
2013 11 6 3 2 14 8
2014 WSL 1 13 6 3 1 16 7
Total 38 12 9 3 5 2 52 17
Manchester City (loan) 2015 WSL 1 13 4 5 4 18 8
Manchester City 2016 WSL 1 16 1 4 3 7[a] 0 27 4
2017 6 2 0 0 6 2
2017–18 18 11 6 3 8[a] 4 32 18
2018–19 Super League 19 19 4 3 2[a] 0 25 22
Total 59 33 14 9 17 4 90 46
Olympique Lyonnais 2019–20[49] Division 1 5 1 0 0 2[a] 2 7 3
Career totals 115 50 28 16 24 8 167 74
  1. ^ a b c d e Appearances in the UEFA Women's Champions League

International goals[edit]

Scores and results list England's goal tally first.[13]
Goal Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 7 June 2016 Sports Center of FA of Serbia, Stara Pazova, Serbia  Serbia 6–0 7–0 Euro 2017 qualifying
2 7–0
3 20 September 2016 Den Dreef, Leuven, Belgium  Belgium 1–0 2–0
4 27 July 2017 Koning Willem II Stadion, Tilburg, Netherlands  Portugal 2–1 2–1 Euro 2017
5 19 September 2017 Prenton Park, Birkenhead, England  Russia 1–0 6–0 2019 World Cup qualifying
6 24 November 2017 Bescot Stadium, Walsall, England  Bosnia and Herzegovina 2–0 4–0
7 28 November 2017 Colchester Community Stadium, Colchester, England  Kazakhstan 3–0 5–0
8 4–0
9 8 June 2018 Sapsan Arena, Moscow, Russia  Russia 1–0 3–1
10 31 August 2018 Rodney Parade, Newport, Wales  Wales 3–0 3–0
11 2 March 2019 Nissan Stadium, Nashville, United States  United States 2–1 2–2 2019 SheBelieves Cup
12 25 May 2019 Bescot Stadium, Walsall, England  Denmark 1–0 2–0 Friendly
13 9 June 2019 Allianz Riviera, Nice, France  Scotland 1–0 2–1 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup
14 29 August 2019 Den Dreef, Heverlee, Belgium  Belgium 3–3 3–3 Friendly


Manchester City[13]
Olympique Lyonnais

In June 2019, a large mural of Parris was unveiled on Liverpool's London Road.[55] The same year, a Parris mural by Honduran artist Javier Espinal and local youth was unveiled at the Metropolitan Methodist Centre in Toxteth.[56]

Other work[edit]

In 2020, Parris founded the NP17 Football Academy, which offers sports qualifications to students in Liverpool.[8] She noted, "That community gave me life and gave me an opportunity - that's what I want to do for these girls. I want to give them an opportunity to be successful in whatever they choose. Within inner city areas, there's always good and bad. You've got to be in and around the right people."[3] The academy, based at the City of Liverpool College, is supported by Puma, which donates sports equipment. Other partners include the Liverpool City Council and the City of Liverpool College.[3]

The same year, Parris joined six fellow footballers, including Harry Kane, Lucy Bronze, and Tyrone Mings to form a council focused on increasing the number of black, Asian and minority ethnic people at senior levels within football. The expert panel "will be consulted over the development of the Football Association’s Leadership Diversity Code".[57]

Personal life[edit]

Parris is a younger sister of boxer Natasha Jonas.[6] She attended Bellerive FCJ Catholic College, but in September 2010 switched to Cardinal Heenan Catholic High School for her sixth form education, because it was a specialist sports college.[58] She is a practising Catholic and a former altar girl.[59] Her first name is sometimes shortened to Keets.[60]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "List of Players – England" (PDF). FIFA. 4 August 2014. p. 5. Retrieved 20 July 2015.
  2. ^ Snowdon, Paul (12 October 2010). "Toxteth teenager Nikita Parris hopes to help Everton Ladies' European Champions League cause". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  3. ^ a b c Garry, Tom (8 November 2018). "Nikita Parris: Manchester City and England star on her NP17 Academy". BBC Sport. Retrieved 23 October 2020.
  4. ^ Sanders, Emma (18 October 2020). "Vivianne Miedema: Arsenal striker breaks all-time WSL goals record with hat-trick against Tottenham". BBC Sport. Retrieved 23 October 2020.
  5. ^ a b Hartman-Turner, Kyle. "ISSUE 02: NIKITA PARRIS". Gaffer. Retrieved 23 October 2020.
  6. ^ a b Creighton, Jessica (6 August 2013). "Natasha Jonas: From dinner scraps to Olympic boxing battles". BBC Sport. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  7. ^ a b c d "Chasing Dreams". The Players Tribune. 2 September 2020. Retrieved 23 October 2020.
  8. ^ a b "Nikita Parris certain of her goals on the pitch - and in life". The Telegraph. 23 October 2020. Retrieved 23 October 2020.
  9. ^ "Kingsley for Keets". The Football Association. 7 September 2018. Retrieved 25 October 2020.
  10. ^ a b Pennant, Felicia (12 June 2019). "Meet Nikita Parris, The Lionesses' Goal-Scoring Machine". Vogue UK. Retrieved 23 October 2020.
  11. ^ "LJMU student Nikita Parris played vital role for England at Euro 2017". Retrieved 31 May 2019.
  12. ^ "Nikita Parris". Everton FC. Archived from the original on 15 July 2015. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "N. Parris". Soccerway. Retrieved 8 September 2019.
  14. ^ a b Beesley, Chris (14 January 2015). "Nikita Parris is latest player to follow exodus of talent from Everton Ladies". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  15. ^ "Women's PFA Young Player of the Year: Nominees". Professional Footballers Association. 16 April 2015. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  16. ^ "Six Chelsea players in PFA team". Professional Footballers Association. 26 April 2015. Retrieved 21 July 2015.[permanent dead link]
  17. ^ "WSL 1: Sunderland Ladies 0-1 Manchester City Women". BBC. 1 April 2015. Retrieved 23 October 2020.
  18. ^ "Liverpool Ladies beat Man City Women 2-1 in Super League One". BBC Sport. 26 April 2015. Retrieved 23 October 2020.
  19. ^ "Man City confirm Nikita Parris signing from Everton". England Football Association. Retrieved 23 October 2020.
  20. ^ "Sunderland Ladies 0 Manchester City Women". BBC Sport. 29 April 2016. Retrieved 23 October 2020.
  21. ^ "2016 FA WSL Cup". SoccerWay. Retrieved 23 October 2020.
  22. ^ "NIKITA PARRIS PENS NEW CITY DEAL". Manchester City. 7 November 2017. Retrieved 23 October 2020.
  23. ^ "10 Players With the Most Combined Goals & Assists in WSL History". 90min. 28 October 2019. Retrieved 23 October 2020.
  24. ^ "Nikita Parris fires Manchester City past Chelsea and into Continental Cup final". The Guardian. 6 February 2019. Retrieved 23 October 2020.
  25. ^ Medlicott, Phil (23 February 2019). "Manchester City win Continental Cup for a third time as they beat Arsenal 4-2 on penalties". The Independent. Retrieved 23 October 2020.
  26. ^ "Nikita Parris: England and Manchester City forward to leave club". BBC. 11 May 2019.
  27. ^ a b "News | Nikita Parris joins Lyon". MCFC. Retrieved 31 May 2019.
  28. ^ "OL FÉMININ UNVEIL FOUR NEW SIGNINGS". Olympique Lyonnais. 19 June 2019. Retrieved 7 July 2019.
  29. ^ "French Championship of D1 2019-2020 - 1st day - Lyon-Marseille 6–0". (in French). 24 August 2019. Retrieved 8 September 2019.
  30. ^ a b "Nikita Parris" (in French). Retrieved 25 October 2020.
  31. ^ "Nikita Parris to miss Champions League final after red in Lyon's win over PSG". Evening Express. 26 August 2020. Retrieved 25 October 2020.
  32. ^ "OL - SOYAUX : L'OL EN BALADE AVANT LE CHOC CONTRE LE PSG (5-1)". Olympique Lyonnais. Retrieved 13 November 2020.
  33. ^ Richards, Josh (4 June 2016). "England beat Serbia 7-0 in their European Championship qualifier". The Football Association. Retrieved 8 September 2019.
  34. ^ Lavery, Glenn (7 June 2016). "Serbia 0-7 England: UEFA Women's Euro 2017 match report". The Football Association. Retrieved 8 September 2019.
  35. ^ "UEFA Women's EURO 2017 – History – Portugal-England".
  36. ^ "Eniola Aluko hits out at 'selfish' England Women after public show of support for under-fire boss Mark Sampson". The Independent. 20 September 2017. Retrieved 16 June 2018.
  37. ^ Wallace, Sam (9 January 2019). "Sacked former England Women manager Mark Sampson to receive significant payout from FA". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 9 January 2019.
  38. ^ Eniola Aluko accepts Nikita Parris' apology for 2017 goal celebration BBC Sport, 14 June 2020
  39. ^ "Steph Houghton & Nikita Parris React to England's 2–2 SheBelieves Cup Draw With USA". 3 March 2019. Retrieved 31 May 2019.
  40. ^ "FIFA Women's World Cup France 2019™ - Matches - England - Scotland -".
  41. ^ "Nikita Parris – Player of the Match – England v Scotland". FIFA. 9 June 2019. Retrieved 24 October 2020.
  42. ^ "FIFA Women's World Cup France 2019™ - Matches - England - Argentina -".
  43. ^ Whyatt, Katie (28 June 2019). "Nikita Parris vows to continue taking England penalties despite World Cup misses". The Telegraph.
  44. ^ Hudson, Molly (3 July 2019). "Women's World Cup: Phil Neville's ruthless call to axe Nikita Parris as penalty taker was one change too many". The Times. Retrieved 25 October 2020.
  45. ^ Murray, Scott (2 July 2019). "England 1–2 USA: Women's World Cup 2019 semi-final – as it happened". The Guardian.
  46. ^ "Live Commentary - Belgium Women vs England". SkySports. 29 August 2019. Retrieved 2 September 2019.
  47. ^ Wrack, Suzanne (3 September 2019). "Phil Neville denies arrogance claims after England lose to Norway". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 September 2019.
  48. ^ "Everton – Player Season Totals 2009–10". The Football Association. Retrieved 3 September 2019.
  49. ^ "Nikita Parris – 2019–20". (in French). Retrieved 29 August 2019.
  50. ^ "Trophée des Championnes – L'OL étoffe son palmarès d'un nouveau titre" (in French). 21 September 2019. Retrieved 22 September 2019.
  51. ^ "Lyon women awarded French title, 14th in a row". AFP via France 24. 11 May 2020. Retrieved 10 August 2020.
  52. ^ "Coupe de France: après un arrêt sur les tirs au but, la gardienne du PSG veut tirer et se rate". RMC SPORT, BFM TV (in French). 9 August 2020. Retrieved 10 August 2020.
  53. ^ (30 August 2020). "Lyon win five in a row: 2019/20 Women's Champions League at a glance". Retrieved 21 August 2020.
  54. ^ "England record statement win over Japan to clinch prestigious SheBelieves Cup". The FA. 5 March 2019.
  55. ^ Sands, Katie (11 June 2019). "This is why amazing murals of England stars have appeared in Liverpool". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 24 October 2020.
  56. ^ Rand, Lisa (15 August 2019). "Striking mural of famous Toxteth footballer will have passers-by stopping in their tracks". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 24 October 2020.
  57. ^ "Harry Kane, Tyrone Mings and Nikita Parris to help raise diversity in football". The Guardian. 31 July 2020. Retrieved 23 October 2020.
  58. ^ "Toxteth teenager Nikita Parris hopes to help Everton Ladies' European Champions League cause". Liverpool Echo. 14 October 2010. Retrieved 25 October 2020.
  59. ^ "Former altar girl Nikita is 'world class', says ex Man United star". The Catholic Times. 15 June 2019. Retrieved 25 October 2020.
  60. ^ "Nikita Parris aka Keets". The Football Association. Retrieved 25 October 2020.

Further reading[edit]

  • Aluko, Eniola (2019), They Don't Teach This, Random House, ISBN 9781473564480
  • Caudwell, Jayne (2013), Women's Football in the UK: Continuing with Gender Analyses, Taylor & Francis, ISBN 9781317966234
  • Clarke, Gemma (2019), Soccerwomen: The Icons, Rebels, Stars, and Trailblazers Who Transformed the Beautiful Game, ISBN 9781568589206
  • Dunn, Carrie (2019), Pride of the Lionesses: The Changing Face of Women's Football in England, Pitch Publishing (Brighton) Limited, ISBN 9781785315411
  • Dunn, Carrie (2016), The Roar of the Lionesses: Women's Football in England, Pitch Publishing Limited, ISBN 9781785311512
  • Grainey, Timothy (2012), Beyond Bend It Like Beckham: The Global Phenomenon of Women's Soccer, University of Nebraska Press, ISBN 0803240368
  • Stay, Shane (2019), The Women's World Cup 2019 Book: Everything You Need to Know About the Soccer World Cup, Books on Demand, ISBN 1782551921
  • Theivam, Keiran and Jeff Kassouf (2019), The Making of the Women's World Cup: Defining stories from a sport’s coming of age, Little, ISBN 1472143310

External links[edit]