Saturday, August 6, 2022

“By the age of four, older boys would be jealous of England’s heroine Chloe Kelly playing football”

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I learn how England’s hero, who scored the winning goal against Germany, had all the boys in awe from a young age

And her talent was clear from a young age. When England’s heroine stood on the sidelines as a young girl practicing keepie uppies while her older brothers played, all the boys looked on with envy at the football-loving youngster’s skills.

Chloe Kelly scored the winning goal in the 110th minute tonight as England beat Germany 2-1 as the nation lifted a major football trophy for the first time since 1966

“Everyone on the team knew they were up to something and although Chloe was only about four at the time, her footballing skills amazed her,” recalls Stephen Pound, MP for Ealing North in London, in north-west London where Kelly grew up is and where her family still lives.

The Manchester City player is the youngest of seven siblings with five older brothers including triplets.

Pound, whose son Pelham played football with Chloe’s brothers when he was younger – and still plays on a pub football team with her brother Jack – recalls Kelly training on the sidelines and throwing in the ball eagerly when it came.

“You could see the frustration and desire to play on Chloe’s face as she stood on the sidelines wishing she was there,” says Pound. “Chloe was absolutely exceptional and from the moment she was able to frolic around she showed incredible talent for football.

“From a young age, the boys were jealous of their footballing skills. Everyone on the team knew he was in the presence of greatness. This precocious talent was evident from an early age; not only in terms of football skills, but also the passion for the game.”

He adds: “Chloe’s brothers jokingly say, ‘We taught her everything to do with football’. But I think it was the other way around and she certainly taught the boys a thing or two!”

Like the rest of the nation, Pound has watched the Lionesses’ successes at the Euros with pride and describes Chloe as a “game-changing sub”.

“Chloe completely changed the game against Spain when she came on as a substitute and it’s wonderful to see her footballing talent continue to grow.”

He also praised the 24-year-old for her hard work and tenacity in returning from a serious knee injury that ruled her out of the Tokyo Olympics last summer.

“Coming out of a bad injury like hers and training hard shows her great work ethic and persistence,” he says.

“I’ll never forget that little girl who was doing keepie uppies on the sidelines while her brothers and the other boys were jealous of her skills.”

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