Former England international Kelly Smith has been inducted into the Women’s Super League Hall of Fame as the third player.
Smith, who is England’s record goal scorer, has scored goals, followed by former international teammates Farah Williams and Rachel Yankee, has been recognized by the newly formed Hall of Fame, which was established in April to mark the 10th anniversary of the WSL.
After playing a spell in the United States, Smith returned to the WSL in 2012 to help Arsenal win the league that season, as well as star in winning the Women’s FA Cup in 2014 and 2011.
Despite the injury, Smith’s career spanned more than 20 years, and in January 2017 he retired at the age of 38, winning 117 England caps and playing in six major international tournaments.
The Women’s Super League Hall of Fame expert selection panel has agreed that Smith’s influence on women’s sport during her career and her achievements have earned her a worthy name in this year’s WSL Hall of Fame.
Hope Powell, head coach of Brighton & Hove Albion and a member of the Hall of Fame Selection Panel, said:
“I can use a few words to describe what he was able to do on the pitch. He was a magician, he showed things so effortlessly and he easily walked around the field.
“Kelly’s profile and respect from around the world has been a huge asset in the development of women’s sports here.”
Women were not ready for English football
Cult Heroes of Football Investigates Kelly Smith’s under-reported story and why she had to travel to the United States to realize her ambitions.
He came back to win the quarterfinals with Arsenal, inspiring the new generation of left-footers “like Jackhammer and paint brush at the same time”. But beyond the field of women’s football, her achievements are still under the radar.
As her colleagues, journalists and fans said, we have heard how Smith overcame injuries, isolation and alcoholism, leaving a lasting impression not only on women’s football, but on the future of the English game.