Hate football? LOVE a lie-in? Either way, you’re in luck. The Women's England football team will make your day
STOP WHAT YOU’RE DOING. Please.
Whether you’re a football lover or hater; a staunch supporter or an absolutely ruddy clueless muppet (much like this Now staffer) STOP.
Because this right here is important stuff.
The Women’s World Cup is ON – and waaay more exciting than the menfolk’s version. England has bagged a spot in the semi-finals of the World Cup for the first time in a quarter of a century. Yes siree, the WOMEN’S TEAM made history on Saturday night, and – what with their Semi-Final against Japan kicking off at 2am on Thursday morning – they’re destined to be all everyone’s banging about for some time yet.
And the best bit? You don’t even have to live for – or even like – football all that much to get as giddy as the rest of England is! Hells, this Now staffer is clueless, check out this video as case in point.
Simply consider this your #FIFAWWC 2015 Cheat Sheet. Use it blag and bluff your way through the (90-minute, appaz) game and WOW strangers and colleagues alike with your football know-how. Let it inspire you to get sportzy, brave and maybe bag a job in the city too.
It may even bag you a morning off work. Seriously.
Screw #WhatWouldBeyonceDo! Here’s why we’re ALL about to fall foot, line and sinker for these 11 #Lionesses. In the words of Katy Perry, er, you’re going to hear them
11. WHO’S THE DAVID BECKHAM ONE?
NAME: Steph Houghton, 27 aka ‘Oh captain, our captain’
Defender – oh, and England captain – Steph is besotted with Mr B. She first kicked a ball aged three, and grow up in Co.Durham with pictures of David Beckham plastered all over her walls.
… 10. DID SOMEONE SAY BECKS?
Turns out that real-life (former England captain) David Beckham is pretty keen on the women’s team too. He’s come over all fangirly on his Twitter feed in recent days, writing: ‘Girls what a performance… We are so proud of what you have achieved and the passion you have shown gives us so much pride… Our lionesses roar into the semi’s GB @england’
He even shoe-horned a lion / pride gag into those 140 characters. YES DAVID!
9. PRINCESS CHARLOTTE’S A FAN TOO!
Joining King David of Beckham is fourth-in-line to the actual throne Princess Charlotte of Princesstown.
She may be a wee two months of age but – judging by the England tee what one’s Princely pa-pah is wielding – Charlotte is likely to be up at 2am cheering them on / having a nappy change along with the rest of us.
8. THEY PRONE TO A TOUCH OF HEADBUTTING (yes, really)
NAME: Jill Scott, 28 aka The Midfielder
Now, we’re not advocating headbutting [Now finds diplomatic chats and big love-hugs a much more fruitful way of handling on-pitch disputes] BUT Manchester City star Jill did get sent off for head-butting an opponent in March. ‘I’m always laughing and joking off the pitch, but I’m highly competitive on it,’ she said afterwards. ‘I probably went over the edge that one time.’
At 5ft 11in Jill’s nickname is ‘Crouchy’. Pah! Football LOLz.
7. THEY’RE MUMS LIKE THE REST OF US!
Okay, not all of us. But these women do go to show why girls do indeed run the world, masterfully tackling motherhood with, er, actual tackling while taking school runs and Football World Cups in their stride.
Katie Chapman, 33 – aka Midfielder – lives in London with her husband Mark, an electrician, and two children Riley and Zachary.
Katie credits pregnancy for giving her stamina, allowing her to return an even better player.
HIGH-FIVES TO ALL THE MOTHERS (… And now we want to give our Mum a hug, and maybe a football)
6. ONE OF THEM SLEPT ON THE STREET
NAME: Fara Williams, 31, midfielder
England’s most capped star of all time – including the men – was homeless for six years of her career. Raised by a single mother in South London, after a fallout with her family aged just 17, Fara found herself living on the streets.
At 23 – after singing for Everton – Fara found her way out of homelessness and now plays for Liverpool.
5. THERE’S EVEN A CITY BANKER
NAME: Claire Rafferty, 26, left-back
Yup, yet more proof that these women are MACHINES (and motivating us to get a part-time job as an Olympian athlete and/or astro scientist) is Claire – who juggles World Cup level football playing, with being a part-time analyst for Deutsche Bank. ‘You should see the books in my room,’ she says. ‘My team-mates are mainly into football autobiographies, but no one wants to swap them for books about hedhe funds!’
Oh gahd, she’s funny too.
[Now dashes off to take a serious look at our life]
And we’re back in the room
4. ONE HAS A HOLE IN HER HEART
NAME: Jade Moore, 24, midfielder
A routine scan revealed two holes in her heart when she was 16, but she was back in trainikng a fortnight after corrective surgery.
3. IT WAS WRITTEN IN THE STARS FOR THIS ONE…
NAME: Fran Kirby, 21, striker
5ft 2in striker Fran slipped into depression at 17 when her mum, Denise, died from a brain haemorrhage. Fran quit the game for two years.
Then came back fighting. She says: ‘When I was young, my mum said “You’re going to be a professional footballer one day.”’
2. THE #9 ON THE RAINBOW LIST
NAME: Casey Stoney, 33, defender
Hellooo icon! Casey is the second member of the team to become a mum, after she and her former team-mate girlfriend Megan Harris conceived via IVF in November. Casey only came out as gay in early 2014 and is now ranked as No9 in the Rainbow List which celebrates Britain’s most influential lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Britain. ‘I felt it was important to speak out when so many people struggle with being gay,’ she says. ‘It’s not freaky or unnatural; it’s a matter of fact that some people unfortunately find difficult to accept.’
AND AT NUMBER 1!
1. CHAMPION THE LIONESS LIE-IN #ILoveALieIn!
Manager Mark Sampson has drafted an open, cut-out and keep letter for fans to hand over to bosses to today – asking for permission to get in to work late tomorrow.
‘Have a lie-in for the Lionesses’! For the first time, the England women’s football team has reached the semi-finals. Let your staff arrive late for work after cherring on my lionesses until 2am.’
‘We call on you to spread some goodwill in the name of patriotic pride and allow the aforementioned a free lie-in’
The team face Japan in the early hours of Thursday morning, at midnight UK time.
Print out the free-pass for your boss, above!
Er, yeah, so – boss? Football, schmootball! We’ve got ourselves a whole new load of life crushes here. We’re backing them, and the free lie-in. We’ll bring you a coffee on the way in, yeah?
#Lionesses SCORE + ROAR! Tweet your support to the girls with the hashtag: