Bethany England says representing England at a home Euro will be an “incredible experience” after reflecting on a footballing journey that started in a boys’ team with her twin sister Laura.
The 28-year-old has been selected in Sarina Wiegman’s squad for the upcoming tournament. The Lionesses’ matches, the first of which is played at Old Trafford on Wednesday July 6, are already sold out.
England said Sky Sports News“I think it’s going to be amazing, having family and friends able to travel to the home countries and come to every game. With sold-out stadiums, it’s going to be packed. It’s going just be an amazing experience.”
England, who have just won the Women’s Super League with Chelsea, have been named Player of the Year and PFA Player of the Year for 2020. She has scored 60 goals in 126 appearances for Chelsea and has 16 international caps.
What many don’t know is that England has a twin sister, Laura, who is also a talented sportswoman. The pair played for Sheffield United academy, but started in a boys’ team.
“We weren’t afraid of tackles, whether it was kicking them out or giving them away,” Laura recalled.
While Bethany admits the boys were always very welcoming, the girls could put them to the test. One of his most vivid memories was of a rather brutal defeat.
“The very first game I think was against Spy Rangers, we lost 22-0,” Bethany said. “Honestly, even if you think it sounds brutal. It didn’t hit us. We wanted to keep playing.”
When the pair were growing up, women’s football was far from what it has now. There were very few TV shows and there were very few role models. Laura decided to focus on the javelin instead, which she did internationally, training alongside Jessica Ennis-Hill.
The girls may have matching tattoos and dogs, but they have very different personalities and aren’t identical twins. Laura admits this has its advantages, because unlike Bethany, she doesn’t get stopped at the supermarket all the time for her autograph. Nevertheless, they are fiercely competitive.
Bethany said: “We were playing tennis on the side of our house once. I lost and was so mad I threw the racquet. It bounced back and hit her in the face. She s was left with this really bad lump on her eye, which she had to have an operation to get it removed.”
Having the surname “England”, it seems almost fitting that both girls have competed in their own sports internationally. However, that has its downsides, as they found out when trying to book a taxi home after England lost to Italy in the final of the Men’s European Championship last summer.
“They asked what last name it was,” Laura recalled. “She said ‘England’ and they hung up. They didn’t want to believe us because they thought it was a prank.”
Follow Euro 2022 on Sky Sports
Catch up on all the latest Euro 2022 news on Sky Sports and Sky Sports News this summer.
Coverage will be anchored by Sky Sports WSL presenter Caroline Barker, alongside Jessica Creighton and Kyle Walker. Meanwhile, Karen Carney, Sue Smith, Courtney Sweetman-Kirk and Laura Bassett will provide analysis throughout the tournament.
They will also be joined by experienced England goalkeeper Karen Bardsley and Manchester City defender Esme Morgan.
Pundits and presenters will work from the Sky Sports Women’s Euro 2022 mobile presentation bus, which will follow the Sky Sports News team around the country to the various stadiums where the matches are taking place.
Additionally, Sky Sports’ Essential Football Podcast will be rebranded for the Sky Sports Women’s Euros Podcast Tournament from June 21. Hosted by Charlotte Marsh and Anton Toloui, it will feature exclusive news and player interviews in addition to a solid tournament programme.
Euro 2022: The groups…
Group A: England, Austria, Norway, Northern Ireland
Group B: Germany, Denmark, Spain, Finland
Group C: Netherlands, Sweden, Portugal, Switzerland
Group D: France, Italy, Belgium, Iceland
Euro 2022: The schedule…
Wednesday July 6
Group A: England v Austria – Kick off 8pm, Old Trafford
Thursday July 7
Group A: Norway v Northern Ireland – kick off 8pm, St Mary’s
Friday July 8
Group B: Spain v Finland – Kick off 5.00pm, Stadium MK
Group B: Germany v Denmark – Kick off 8pm, London Community Stadium
Saturday July 9
Group C: Portugal vs Switzerland – kick off 5pm, Leigh Sports Village
Group C: Netherlands v Sweden – kick off 8pm, Bramall Lane
Sunday July 10
Group D: Belgium v Iceland – Kick off 5.00pm, Manchester City Academy Stadium
Group D: France vs Italy – kick-off 8pm, New York Stadium
Monday July 11
Group A: Austria v Northern Ireland – kick off 5pm, St Mary’s
Group A: England v Norway – kick off 8pm, Brighton and Hove Community Stadium
tuesday july 12
Group B: Denmark v Finland – Kick off 5.00pm, Stadium MK
Group B: Germany v Spain – Kick off 8pm, London Community Stadium
Wednesday July 13
Group C: Sweden v Switzerland – kick off 5pm, Bramall Lane
Group C: Netherlands-Portugal – kick-off 8pm, Leigh Sports Village
Thursday July 14
Group D: Italy v Iceland – Kick off 5pm, Manchester City Academy Stadium
Group D: France vs Belgium – kick-off 8pm, New York Stadium
friday july 15
Group A: Northern Ireland v England – kick off 8pm St Mary’s
Group A: Austria v Norway – Kick off 8pm, Brighton and Hove Community Stadium
Saturday July 16
Group B: Finland v Germany – Kick-off 8pm, Stadium MK
Group B: Denmark v Spain – Kick off 8pm, London Community Stadium
Sunday July 17
Group C: Switzerland vs Netherlands – kick off 5pm, Bramall Lane
Group C: Sweden v Portugal – kick off 5pm, Leigh Sports Village
Monday July 18
Group D: Iceland vs France – kick-off 8pm, New York Stadium
Group D: Italy v Belgium – Kick off 8pm, Manchester City Academy Stadium
Wednesday July 20
Quarter-final 1: Winners Group A v Runners-up Group B – kick off 8pm, Brighton and Hove Community Stadium
Thursday July 21
Quarter-Final 2: Group B Winners v Group A Runners-up 8pm, London Community Stadium
friday july 22
Quarter-final 3: Winners Group C v Runners-up Group D – kick-off 8pm, Leigh Sports Village
Quarter-Final 4: Winners Group D v Runners-up Group C – kick-off 8pm, New York Stadium
tuesday july 26
Semi-Final 1: Quarter-Final Winners 1 v Quarter-Final Winners 3 – Kick-off 8pm, Bramall Lane
Wednesday July 27
Semi-Final 2: Winner Quarter-Final 2 v Winner Quarter-Final 4 – Kick-off 8pm, Stadium MK
Sunday July 31
Winners Semi-Final 1 v Winners Semi-Final 2 – Kick-off 5pm, Wembley