Women's Team

Five things we learned from Lucy Bronze's 'Letter to My Younger Self'

Five things we learned from Lucy Bronze's 'Letter to My Younger Self'
A look at some of the key words of wisdom our full-back had for her younger self on International Women's Day...

Her brother inspired her to play football

It’s clear that our flying full-back enjoys a tight-knit relationship with her family, but she credits her older brother, Jorge, in particular with helping to pique her initial interest in football.

Bronze admits the sibling rivalry was always in full swing when in a competitive setting but, if she came out on top, Jorge was only frustrated to have been beaten, rather than because it was his little sister who had done it.

That mutual respect left a lasting impression, and helped set her on the way to what she has already achieved in an incredible career.

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She chose football over individual sports

Watching Bronze at full throttle, it comes as no surprise that she excelled in a number of sports as a youngster, including athletics, tennis and even wind surfing!

But there was a distinct moment in her life when she realised that football really stood out from the crowd.

During a tennis match, she noticed her opponent was cheating but, without teammates to support her, did not feel confident enough to stand up for herself.

Being part of a team, and spending time with her friends on the pitch, was what really made the World Player of the Year tick.

She let her feet do the talking to answer critics

As was commonplace at the turn of the millennium, with there being few girls teams available, Bronze began playing for a boys team as a youngster.

And while she didn’t encounter any problems from her teammates, she singles out one particular experience with an opposition player that still resonates with her today.

As her and her teammates walked to the pitch, the opponent in question pointed and laughed at the fact that they had a girl playing for their team.

Rather than letting that jeer get under her skin, Bronze responded in the best way possible, with a typically firm but fair challenge.

While hurting him was never her intention, the boy was left crying on the floor and she admits that her Auntie, who had taken her to the game, was proud of how her niece had responded to the situation.

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There's more progress to be made in women's football

A large section of Bronze’s letter to her younger self circulates on the upward trajectory of women’s football

But this is always underpinned by the amount of ground that still needs to made up on the men’s game.

Like so many of her generation, the full-back was not allowed to play football with boys from the age of 12 in the interest - according to those making the decision - of her own safety.

While she believes that there is still a long way to go, she references one particular advertising campaign that demonstrates the progress made so far towards changing perceptions in the women’s game.

Following the 2015 World Cup, an advertising campaign showed a young boy with Bronze’s name on the back of his shirt accompanied by the slogan: ‘2015: the year boys all over England score goals in their gardens, whilst pretending they're called Lucy.’

Our full-back had the picture framed as a constant reminder that she can be an inspiration to both little girls and little boys looking to find their feet in the game.

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She has a fitting middle name!

You very quickly run out of superlatives to describe the World Footballer of the Year when she is at her very best, but one of Bronze’s greatest attributes, without question, is her physicality both on and off the ball.

This should come as no surprise though, with her mother’s maiden name - and one of her middle names - being ‘Tough’!

With this in mind, the final quote of her letter, although widely used, perhaps evokes a very personal reaction from her: ‘when the going gets tough, the Tough get going’!

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