Leah Williamson of Arsenal lifts the UEFA Women's EURO 2022 Trophy after their side's victory during the UEFA Women's Euro 2022 final match between England and Germany at Wembley Stadium on July 31, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Arsenal and England star Leah Williamson.
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Leah Williamson: The Arsenal and England star battling back from injury

Arsenal star Leah Williamson is nearing a return to action following a long absence through injury. 

The England captain, who ruptured her anterior cruciate ligament last April, has returned to full training and could line out for the Gunners in the coming weeks.

Arsenal fans will doubtlessly be extremely excited about the return of the defender, who is easily one of the most popular English players around today.

But who is Leah Williamson? Here’s everything you need to know about the female footballer.

Who is Leah Williamson?

Leah Williamson is a centre-back for both Arsenal Women and the England national women’s team.

Born in Milton Keynes in March 1997, she is a lifelong Arsenal supporter. Growing up her mother and grandmother shared her love of Arsenal, while her brother and father were fans of bitter rivals Tottenham Hotspur.

She was awarded the Freedom of the city of London in 2022, followed by the Freedom of the city of Milton Keynes in 2023.

Youth career

Williamson began her journey at Scot Youth, a boys’ team in Bletchley. She was six when she joined the club and only spent a year there.

The future supremo was the side’s star striker after impressing in a trial, but as the only girl in the team would receive abuse from the sidelines on a weekly basis.

“My mum made me wear a gum shield to protect my teeth because everybody wanted to kick lumps out of me, but it didn’t put me off. You couldn’t get me out of my football kit. I absolutely loved it,” she said.

In 2003 she moved to Rushden & Diamonds’ centre of excellence. Three years later she joined Arsenal after her coach left to take up a job at the north London outfit.

“I owe it all to my coach from when I was 9,” she told Arseblog.

Leah Williamson at Arsenal

One day after her 17th birthday, Williamson made her senior debut for Arsenal when she came off the bench in a 2-0 defeat to Birmingham City in the Uefa Women’s Champions League quarter-final.

She has since gone on to make 222 appearances in all competitions for the club, winning the FA Women’s Super League in 2019. She has also won the FA Women’s Cup twice and been a losing finalist twice, and won the League Cup three times and a losing finalist twice.

Leah Williamson’s England career

Leah Williamson has represented England at every age group up to senior level, where she is currently the captain. She’s earned 41 caps at youth level and 43 with the Lionesses.

The 26-year-old captained England to glory at Euro 2022 on home soil, while she has also led the national team to success in the SheBelieves Cup, the Women’s Finalissima and the Arnold Clark Cup twice.

Williamson missed out on captaining the side at the 2023 Fifa Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand due to her ACL injury. The team reached the final, where they lost 1-0 to Spain.

She also represented Great Britain at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021.

Personal life

Williamson is a member of the LGBTQ+ community, and wore a Stonewall rainbow armband throughout Euro 2022. She is a social justice activist who champions many causes, while she has also co-authored two books.

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