Karen Carney: “This used to be the stuff only little boys’ dreams were made of”

It was on a train this week and a little boy was reading the back page of the paper, all about the Lionesses’ win. He didn’t put it down or turn the page. He read it like it was a norm for there to be women’s football on this page. He read it like it was a sports page, which of course it was. He didn’t see anything different. They were all role models to him. That’s what’s changed now.

It’s hard to properly put into words just how momentous this week has been for me. I’ve been playing football since I was eight, and my professional career began in my teens, with my first cap for England when I was 17. Being at Wembley on Sunday was a feeling I will never forget. I was just bawling my eyes out. Seeing more than 87,000 people cheering in that stadium and to see every newspaper to report about it the next day… it’s all we’ve ever dreamed of. This used to be the stuff only little boys‘ dreams were made of.

I hope we get to a stage where we can talk about women’s football without having to talk about it being any different to men’s. But the thing is, it’s been such a hard battle to get here. I think it’s impossible to eradicate history right at this moment because the uphill climb here is what makes this win so joyous.

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