England football icon makes a visit to a Haverhill primary school
Legendary England and Arsenal footballer Kelly Smith MBE has been passing on some tips during a special visit to a Haverhill primary school.
Kelly, who played 117 games for England and is the country’s record female goalscorer, visited Coupals Primary Academy which has recently named one of its school houses after the former striker.
Pupils were treated to a special assembly where Kelly spoke and answered questions about overcoming three serious injuries and her glittering career, before she gave a bespoke coaching session to the school’s new girls team.
The visit came about after the headteacher David Maguire wrote to the London Olympian, who has also played in two Women’s World Cups, to tell her she had been chosen to front a school house alongside fellow sports icons Muhammed Ali, Jesse Owens and Serena Williams.
Mr Maguire said: “We wanted to rename our houses to celebrate people who had not only reached the top of their sport but also had a wider impact in society.
“I was delighted Kelly accepted our invitation and she has proven to be a real inspiration for our pupils.
“Thanks to the World Cup and other high profile recent matches, we have seen more and more girls talking about the sport and it is our amazing that our new football team has been given a training session from England’s greatest ever women’s footballer.”
Kelly, who put a group of Year 5 and Year 6 girls through their paces, said: “It is nice to see so many girls wanting to play football and play with a smile on their face.
“They are clearly very interested in the game and there are so many more opportunities for them from when I was their age.
"I would advise them to make sure they have fun and also make sure they practice all the time.”