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Lioness - My Journey to Glory: Winner of the Sunday Times Sports Book Awards Autobiography of the Year

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She was also named Player of the Tournament and has since won England Women's Player of the Year, the BBC Women's Footballer of the Year 2022, BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2022 and been named runner-up for the 2022 Ballon d'Or Féminin. A very inspiring story that journals Beth Mead's football career from the start all the way up until the infamous Euros win. I also loved Beth’s reflections on different managers she’s worked with and how they differed and the stories of her fellow England and Arsenal legends. Well done Beth for telling your story and I was pleased to read, in the news recently,that the Lionesses were successful in getting the government to listen to them about PE in schools. Her story, from growing up in a small village in North Yorkshire to becoming an international player is both inspiring and just very cool.

I liked that she was completely honestly about her feelings at certain points in her career, she definitely wasn’t scared of sharing the lows as well as the highs. From childhood, Beth wanted to play football and was supported and encouraged by her parents and younger brother. It wasn’t until the Lionesses started winning in the Euros that I started watching their training and interviews on YouTube - something that I do regularly with the men even though they share the “England” channel. It was so fascinating to revisit the Euros but from Beth’s perspective, finding out what exactly was going on in the background of the very games I watched on TV. I don’t often read autobiographies, and have no time for the culture of celebrity, but this book is different.She's also very open about the mental struggles she's faced both on and off the pitch, and it's refreshing to see someone talk about it so honestly. Beth Mead is one of the world's most talented footballers, a Golden Boot winner and Player of the Tournament at the UEFA Euro 2022, England Player of the Year 2021-22, Arsenal Player of the Season 2021-22, and runner-up for the 2022 Ballon d'Or. Her talent was quickly identified and she eventually signed for WSL side Sunderland before joining Arsenal.

It really opened my eyes to the journey that these women have to take (unlike Saka, who I absolutely adore, being signed to Arsenal’s Academy at about 8 years of age). The book starts with a dark time in Beth's life, then goes back to her childhood, her family, and of course, her start in football till the current day.i started reading this book with the view of “oh i like beth mead, let’s read this” but as i got further into the book, i realised just how much i related to beth, from her mental journey, to the locations (eg southampton, whitby, and st albans). Now, Beth shares the challenges that shaped her, what she faced on the journey to the top, and the life events that made her stronger – from being dropped from the England squad and receiving devastating family news, to finding her best form under the guidance of Jonas Eidevall and Sarina Wiegman. From being placed in the local boys’ team as a child because her mum wanted her to run off her boundless energy, to joining Middlesbrough FC’s Centre of Excellence and making her professional debut at Sunderland, Beth and women’s football have come a long way. You don’t know what is going on in other people’s lives, what challenges they have overcome, or are keeping hidden.

The England team continues to work tirelessly to ensure that girls and women in sport receive equal recognition and treatment, whatever level they are playing at. It's inspiring, well-written, and filled with anecdotes of some of the most important moments in Beth Mead's life– from signing with her now-club Arsenal to winning the UEFA Women's Euro 2022 with England's Lionesses– and everything in between.

This helps to shed light on the difficulties so many of our top players have faced to make it to where they are now in football. But long before this, Beth was just an ordinary kid from Hinderwell, North Yorkshire who wanted to play football.

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