|Full name||Rachel Furness|
|Date of birth||19 June 1988|
|Place of birth||Sunderland, England|
|Height||1.69 m (5 ft 7 in)|
|2011||→ Lincoln (loan)||1||(0)|
|2019||→ Tottenham Hotspur (loan)||9||(1)|
*Club domestic league appearances and goals, correct as of 12 February 2020|
‡ National team caps and goals, correct as of 22:55, 13 July 2022 (UTC)
Rachel Furness (born 19 June 1988) is a professional footballer who plays for FA Women's Championship club Bristol City. She also represented the Northern Ireland national team. A powerful central midfielder, she featured as a winger or striker earlier in her career. Furness' ex-manager at Sunderland, Mick Mulhern, described her as "a strong and determined player."
Furness attended Usworth Comprehensive School and represented Durham at County level. By season 2002–03 she was already playing for Chester-le-Street Ladies, alongside several other youngsters and former England striker Aran Embleton.
In 2004 Furness moved to Gateshead College to study sports development and fitness. She began playing for the women's football academy at the college and Sunderland. Jill Scott was a teammate in both sides.
In 2006 Furness moved to Northumbria University to study sports development with coaching, and swapped Sunderland for Newcastle United. However, she had by then suffered a serious knee injury, which required two operations and the removal of most of the cartilage. Doctors advised Furness to stop playing football but she nevertheless resumed playing for Newcastle United.
In December 2009, Furness scored one and made the other for Mel Reay, as Newcastle drew 2–2 at OOH Lincoln Ladies in the FA Women's Cup, only to miss her penalty in the shootout defeat.
Furness spent the 2010 summer season in Iceland with Grindavik, then rejoined Sunderland – making her second debut for the club in a 4–0 Premier League Cup win over Newcastle in October 2010. After helping Sunderland win the Premier League title, Furness joined FA WSL club Lincoln Ladies on loan. She made a quick debut in Lincoln's 1–0 home defeat to Chelsea in May, the last game before the WSL mid–season break. She returned to parent club Sunderland before the WSL restarted in July.
In January 2017, Furness left Sunderland for Reading shortly after the Lady Black Cats reverted to part-time status.
Furness joined Tottenham Hotspur on a season-long loan from Reading on 6 September 2019. On 28 December 2019, Furness joined Liverpool, after being recalled by Reading.
Chester-le-Street director of coaching Bill Godward alerted the Football Association to Furness' potential at an early stage. However, she was overlooked by England because she was not attached to a club with a centre of excellence or academy. Furness then accepted a call-up from Northern Ireland, and represented them in an U17 tournament in Spring 2004. Although born and raised in Tyne and Wear, Furness was eligible for Northern Ireland as her mother was born in Belfast.
After representing her adopted homeland at U17 and U19 level, Furness progressed to the senior international team. In November 2005 she scored against Slovakia, in Northern Ireland's first competitive home match for 20 years. Following a two-year absence from the national team caused by injury, Furness returned in time for the 2011 World Cup Qualifying campaign.
She contributed four goals, including a hat-trick against Croatia, as Northern Ireland ultimately finished third in their group behind France and Finland. In November 2011 Furness scored in Northern Ireland's shock 3–1 Euro 2013 qualifying win over former World and Olympic champions Norway.
Furness also represented Irish Universities at the World University Games, playing in the 2009 tournament in Belgrade. Two years later she was named in the Great Britain Universities squad for the event in Shenzhen.
The 2021 UEFA Women's European Championships Qualification saw record-breaking success for the Northern Ireland Women's National Team, and Furness played a key part in the squad. Several goals by Furness throughout normal qualification helped NI reach their first ever play-offs for a major tournament, a record in itself. This included the winning goal in a game away to Belarus , all the more vital given that NI had their keeper sent off within the first 30 minutes of the game.
There was little expection that the squad would overcome this final obstacle to reach the tournament, given the higher-ranking opposition. In the first leg, away to Ukraine, Furness scored a vital goal to help NI to a truly surprise 2-1 victory. In the second leg, at home, Furness again made the starting team, but was forced off after an injury. The team won, securing their place in the 2022 tournament.
In November 2021, in back-to-back FIFA Women's World Cup qualifiers against North Macedonia, Furness scored historic goals to equal, then break, the Northern Ireland goalscoring record. In the first game, away, Furness notched a hatrick to equal the record. Then in the home fixture, she scored twice to take the record outright, overtaking the record of 36 goals for Northern Ireland, formerly held by David Healy.
In December 2021, Furness was awarded the NI BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2021 for her contribution to the national team's historic year .
In June 2022, Furness was named in the Northern Ireland squad for UEFA Women's Euro 2022,. although the tournament ended unsuccessfully for her team as they finished bottom of Group A.
On 18 August 2022, Furness announced via social media that she was making herself unavailable for international selection for the foreseeable future for personal reasons, though she insisted she was not retiring altogether.
- Scores and results list Northern Ireland's goal tally first.
|1.||29 October 2005||Football Centre Mogoşoaia, Mogoşoaia, Romania||Romania||1–2||2–3||2007 FIFA Women's World Cup qualification|
|2.||10 November 2005||Ballymena Showgrounds, Ballymena, Northern Ireland||Slovakia||2–1||2–1|
|3.||12 May 2009||Forthbank Stadium, Stirling, Scotland||Scotland||1–?||1–3||Friendly|
|4.||24 October 2009||Stadion ŠRC Zaprešić, Zaprešić||Croatia||1–0||1–0||2011 FIFA Women's World Cup qualification|
|5.||25 August 2010||The Oval, Belfast, Northern Ireland||Croatia||1–0||3–1|
|8.||7 March 2011||Koinotiko Sotiras, Famagusta, Cyprus||Mexico||1–2||1–3||2011 Cyprus Women's Cup|
|9.||9 March 2011||Alpha Sports Centre, Larnaca, Cyprus||Switzerland||1–1||1–2|
|10.||19 November 2011||Mourneview Park, Lurgan, Northern Ireland||Norway||1–0||3–1||UEFA Women's Euro 2013 qualification|
|11.||5 February 2012||Solitude, Belfast, Northern Ireland||Scotland||1–1||1–6||Friendly|
|13||17 September 2014||Mourneview Park, Lurgan, Northern Ireland||Faroe Islands||1–0||3–0||2015 FIFA Women's World Cup qualification|
|15.||27 November 2015||Switzerland||1–2||1–8||UEFA Women's Euro 2017 qualifying|
|16.||3 June 2016||Solitude, Belfast, Northern Ireland||Georgia||4–0||4–0|
|17.||3 August 2016||Mourneview Park, Lurgan, Northern Ireland||Czech Republic||1–1||1–1|
|18.||28 November 2017||Štadión pod Dubňom, Žilina, Slovakia||Slovakia||2–1||3–1||2019 FIFA Women's World Cup qualification|
|19.||27 February 2019||Evrenseki Stadium, Side, Turkey||Jordan||2–0||6–0||2019 Turkish Women's Cup|
|22.||3 March 2019||Hane, Side, Turkey||Kazakhstan||1–0||4–0|
|23.||5 March 2019||Gold City, Alanya, Turkey||Uzbekistan||2–0||2–1|
|24.||10 March 2020||Pinatar Arena, San Pedro del Pinatar, Spain||Scotland||1–0||1–2||2020 Pinatar Cup|
|25.||18 September 2020||Tórsvøllur, Tórshavn, Faroe Islands||Faroe Islands||1–0||6–0||UEFA Women's Euro 2022 qualifying|
|26.||27 October 2020||Dinamo Stadium, Minsk, Belarus||Belarus||1–0||1–0|
|27.||27 November 2020||Seaview, Belfast, Northern Ireland||Belarus||2–1||3–2|
|28.||1 December 2020||Faroe Islands||1–1||5–1|
|29.||9 April 2021||Kolos Stadium, Kovalivka, Ukraine||Ukraine||1–0||2–1||UEFA Women's Euro 2022 qualifying play-offs|
|30.||17 September 2021||Inver Park, Larne, Northern Ireland||Luxembourg||2–0||4–0||2023 FIFA Women's World Cup qualification|
|31.||21 September 2021||Windsor Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland||Latvia||4–0||4–0|
|32.||25 November 2021||Petar Miloševski Training Centre, Skopje, North Macedonia||North Macedonia||1–0||11–0|
|35.||29 November 2021||Seaview, Belfast, Northern Ireland||North Macedonia||3–0||9–0|
|Club||Season||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Total|
|Reading F.C. Women||2017||7||1||1||0||0||0||8||1|
|Liverpool F.C. Women (loan)||2019-20||4||4||2||0||0||0||6||4|
|Liverpool F.C. Women||2020-21||Championship||16||5||2||0||4||0||22||5|
- ^ a b "Sunderland Sign Rachel Furness". Sunderland WFC. 4 October 2010. Retrieved 7 October 2010.
- ^ "Under 16 Girls 2003–04". Durham County Schools FA. Retrieved 7 October 2010.
- ^ "Women's Football". The Northern Echo. 7 March 2003. Retrieved 7 October 2010.
- ^ "Embleton joins Cestrians". The Northern Echo. 31 January 2003. Retrieved 7 October 2010.
- ^ "Best thing I ever did: Rachel Furness, 16, Washington, Tyne and Wear". Children and Young People Now. 6 April 2005. Retrieved 7 October 2010.
- ^ Hannah Davies (12 April 2005). "Now it's a game for the other half". Sunday Sun. Retrieved 7 October 2010.
- ^ a b c "World University Games". FAI Third Level Football. Retrieved 7 October 2010.
- ^ "Reay of hope". The Football Association. 13 June 2006. Retrieved 7 October 2010.
- ^ a b c d "World University Games". Northern Ireland ladies: Why football is a girl thing. 31 March 2010. Retrieved 7 October 2010.
- ^ Tony Leighton (24 February 2008). "World University Games". Arsenal and Everton ease to semis. Retrieved 7 October 2010.
- ^ "Penalties? OOH dear! FIVE PAGES OF GRASSROOTS SPORT START HERE WITH GIRLS FOOTBALL: United's hopes of Cup glory ended by spot of bother". Newcastle Evening Chronicle. 19 December 2009. Retrieved 16 July 2011.
- ^ "Rachel Furness". KSI.is. Retrieved 7 October 2010.
- ^ "Furness joins Lincoln on loan". Sunderland WFC. 13 May 2011. Retrieved 13 May 2011.
- ^ "Lincoln 0 Chelsea 1". Chelsea Ladies. 12 May 2011. Retrieved 23 July 2011.
- ^ a b "Lincoln Ladies add pace to attack". Lincolnshire Echo. 21 July 2011. Retrieved 23 July 2011.
- ^ "Rachel Furness: Reading sign Northern Ireland midfielder from Sunderland". BBC Sport. 13 January 2017. Retrieved 13 January 2017.
- ^ "Rachel Furness joins Tottenham Hotspur Women on loan from WSL rivals Reading". BBC Sport. 6 September 2019. Retrieved 28 December 2019.
- ^ "Rachel Furness: Liverpool Women sign Northern Ireland midfielder". BBC Sport. 28 December 2019. Retrieved 28 December 2019.
- ^ a b "Rejected Rachel ready for Northern Ireland bow". The Northern Echo. 6 February 2004. Retrieved 7 October 2010.
- ^ "Green light for Northern Ireland". The Technician. January 2007. Retrieved 7 October 2010.
- ^ "Rachel Furness". UEFA. Retrieved 7 October 2010.
- ^ "N Ireland 3–1 Norway". BBC Sport. 20 November 2011. Retrieved 26 November 2011.
- ^ "Northern Ireland UEFA Women's Euro squad announced". Irish FA. 27 June 2022.
- ^ "Northern Ireland 0 England 5". BBC Sport. Retrieved 24 August 2022.
- ^ "Rachel Furness: Northern Ireland's record goalscorer to step away from international game for 'foreseeable future'". BBC Sport. 18 August 2022. Retrieved 21 August 2022.
- Living people
- 1988 births
- Footballers from Newcastle upon Tyne
- Expatriate women's footballers in Iceland
- Sunderland A.F.C. Ladies players
- Notts County L.F.C. players
- Women's Super League players
- FA Women's National League players
- Northern Ireland women's international footballers
- Women's association footballers from Northern Ireland
- English women's footballers
- English people of Northern Ireland descent
- Women's association football midfielders
- Newcastle United W.F.C. players
- Reading F.C. Women players
- Grindavík women's football players
- Tottenham Hotspur F.C. Women players
- Liverpool F.C. Women players
- Bristol City W.F.C. players
- UEFA Women's Euro 2022 players