Politics

Farewell to Kelly Smith, England and Arsenal’s ‘once in a lifetime’ forward
Farewell to Kelly Smith, England and Arsenal’s ‘once in a lifetime’ forward

The much-travelled and enormously talented striker beat the boys at their own game before inspiring girls to make it theirs, and retires with a wealth of medals

Kelly Smith MBE, the Arsenal and England striker who on Wednesday announced her retirement at the age of 38, is universally acknowledged as the finest female footballer ever produced in this country.

“She’s one of those players who come along only once or twice in a lifetime. In the men’s game you’d think of the likes of Maradona, Messi, players with a unique talent, and that’s what Kelly has.” That was the assessment made by Hope Powell, a player in the England side on the day the multi-talented No10 made her international debut just three days after her 17th birthday and subsequently her national team manager for 15 years to 2013.

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