Kelly Smith

Last updated

Kelly Smith
MBE
Arsenal LFC v Kelly Smith All-Stars XI (038) (cropped).jpg
Smith in February 2017
Personal information
Full name Kelly Jayne Smith [1]
Date of birth (1978-10-29) 29 October 1978 (age 42)
Place of birth Watford, England
Height 5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)
Position(s) Forward
College career
YearsTeamApps(Gls)
1997–1999 Seton Hall Pirates 51 (76)
Senior career*
YearsTeamApps(Gls)
1994–1996 Wembley Ladies
1996–1997 Arsenal Ladies
1999–2000 New Jersey Lady Stallions
2001–2003 Philadelphia Charge 26 (9)
2004 New Jersey Wildcats 8 (8)
2005–2009 Arsenal Ladies 66 (73)
2009–2012 Boston Breakers 46 (18)
2012–2017 Arsenal Ladies 23 (9)
National team
1995–2014 England 117 (46)
2012 Great Britain 4 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league onlyand correct as of 00:07, 20 January 2019 (UTC)
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 00:07, 20 January 2019 (UTC)

Kelly Jayne Smith, MBE (born 29 October 1978) is an English former football forward who spent three spells with FA WSL club Arsenal Ladies. After moving to the United States, Smith broke records with Seton Hall University then played professionally with Women's United Soccer Association (WUSA) franchise Philadelphia Charge. After returning to Arsenal for a period which included a 2007 UEFA Women's Cup win, Smith was tempted back to America with another professional contract, this time with Boston Breakers in Women's Professional Soccer (WPS). She accumulated 117 caps for the England women's national football team since making her debut in 1995. Despite being hit by serious injury during her career, Smith is England's record goalscorer with 46 goals. She played for Great Britain at the 2012 London Olympics.

Contents

Playing career

Youth and university

While growing up in the Garston area of Watford, Smith regularly played football on boys' teams until, at the age of seven, she was kicked out of Garston Boys Club – despite being the top goalscorer – when the parents of her male opponents complained. [2] After continuing at Pinner Girls, a team formed by Smith's father, she developed her skills at Wembley Ladies and made her senior debut in the 1994–95 season. In August 1995, Pete Davies wrote in The Independent that the "lethally quick, bountifully gifted" Smith was: "the outstanding prospect in the women's game today." [3] After moving to Arsenal Ladies during 1996–97, she scored two goals and assisted on the third in a 3–0 win over Liverpool which secured the Premier League title that season. She spent that year at West Herts College, but transferred to Seton Hall University in the United States in 1997.

Smith enrolled at Seton Hall as a student-athlete. She played for the Seton Hall Pirates from 1997 through 1999. In her first year at Seton Hall in 1997, Smith set scoring records for the Big East Conference and became the first athlete in any sport to be the conference's (Offensive) Player of the Year and Newcomer of the Year in the same season. In the following two seasons, she was the leading scorer not only in the Big East, but in the whole of NCAA Division I, and was named Big East Offensive Player of the Year in both years. At the end of her university career, the school retired her number 6 shirt, she became the first Seton Hall athlete in any sport other than basketball to have a number retired. In her three years at Seton Hall, she set school records with 76 goals and 174 points while playing in just 51 matches.

Professional club

United States

At the culmination of her studies, Smith remained in the United States, remarking: "women's football in England is a joke." [4] Smith's first professional club was New Jersey Lady Stallions of W-League, for which she played on from 1999 to 2000. However, a new top-flight women's league was about to start in the United States and Smith stayed in the country to participate in the project.

The Women's United Soccer Association was formed in early 2000. Smith was drafted second overall in the 2001 WUSA Foreign Allocation Draft by Philadelphia Charge. Smith played all three seasons with Philadelphia and was named to the 2001 WUSA Global 11 All-Star Team. 2001 was her only full season in the league; in 2002, Smith missed most of the season after tearing her ACL in her right knee, and missed much of 2003 after re-injuring the same knee. Following the 2003 season, the WUSA ceased operations.

Smith decided to keep playing in the United States following the collapse of the WUSA. In 2004, she played for the New Jersey Wildcats in the W-League, but she was injured yet again, breaking her leg. She ended up appearing in eight games for the club (563 minutes) and tallied eight goals and six assists.

England

Smith in the 2007 FA Women's Cup final Kelly smith arsenal.jpg
Smith in the 2007 FA Women's Cup final

Smith returned to England and Arsenal in the fall of 2004. She officially rejoined in 2005 after being treated at the Sporting Chance clinic. However, she was yet again hampered by injury, this time by a stress fracture in her foot. She returned to action at the end of the 2004–05 season, scoring a goal from 30 metres out against Charlton Athletic L.F.C. which clinched the Premier League title for Arsenal.

In Arsenal's "Quadruple" winning season of 2006–07, Smith scored 30 goals in 34 games across the four competitions. However, she missed both legs of the 2006–07 UEFA Women's Cup final through suspension, after being sent off for giving the finger to opposition fans in the semi-final. [4]

During Smith's Arsenal career since rejoining in 2005, she appeared in 66 Premier League games scoring 73 goals, 16 FA Cup games scoring 13 goals, 10 League Cup games scoring four goals, 18 UEFA Women's Cup games scoring nine goals, and two Community Shield games scoring one goal for a total of 112 appearances and 100 goals. In her last competitive game for Arsenal, Smith scored a hat-trick to help Arsenal to a 5–0 win over Doncaster Belles in the FA Women's Premier League Cup final. She won the FA Women's Players' Player of the year in 2006 [5] and 2007. [6]

Return to the United States

Upon the creation of a new women's league in the United States, Women's Professional Soccer, many teams were interested in Smith's services. She was chosen by the Boston Breakers second overall in the 2008 WPS International Draft, above Marta and under only Formiga.

Smith against Saint Louis Athletica in 2009 Kelly Smith 2009.jpg
Smith against Saint Louis Athletica in 2009

Despite being drafted by Boston, she was still under contract with Arsenal. However, Smith decided to leave Arsenal to join Boston Breakers on 18 February 2009, one of a number of English players to join the new Women's Professional Soccer League. [7] [8]

In the inaugural 2009 Women's Professional Soccer season, Smith appeared in 15 games (13 starts, 1170 total minutes) and scored six goals with two assists. She was named to the WPS All-Star ballot, but was unavailable for the match due to England's participation at the European Championships. In 2010 Smith started all her 21 appearances, leading the team with 11 goals and five assists. She played in that season's All-Star game. 2011 saw Smith again afflicted by injury; she posted one goal and four assists in 10 appearances (nine starts, 850 minutes). When the WPS went on hiatus ahead of the 2012 season, Smith was left "devastated" and without a club. [9]

Arsenal again

On leaving Boston Breakers, Smith resisted offers from clubs in Sweden and Germany to join Arsenal for a third time. [10] However, she arrived with a stress fracture acquired at the 2012 Cyprus Cup and then aggravated the injury when kicking a ball during a promotional video shoot, without the protective footwear she had been instructed to wear. [11]

International

England

Smith debuted for the England national team on 1 November 1995, three days after turning 17. The 1–1 draw against Italy was played at Roker Park and Smith won Player of the Match from her position on the left wing. [12] She had been unable to accept a call-up to England's 1995 FIFA Women's World Cup squad that summer due to sitting her GCSE exams.[ citation needed ] Her first international goal came on the occasion of her second cap, against Croatia on 19 November 1995. Smith scored a stoppage-time penalty in England's 5–0 win at the Valley. [13] During the following years, the English Football Association (FA) complained to FIFA when Smith's American college team refused to release her for national team duty. [14]

When healthy, Smith has generally been considered one of the world's top female players; former United States head coach April Heinrichs asserted that Smith would be an automatic choice for the United States Women's National Team if she had been eligible, and Vera Pauw, the Dutch coach, called Kelly "the best player in the World" after she scored a hat-trick against the Netherlands in a 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup qualifier. [4] During the 2011 World Cup, Mia Hamm said of Smith: "I remember the first time I saw Kelly play. She'd just graduated from Seton Hall. She's incredibly technical, with great speed of thought and play. Her touch is different class – everything's clean, everything's with a purpose. The pace of her passes is always perfect and she can score at will too." Smith's former England teammate and later coach, Hope Powell, went further than Hamm: "Kelly is one of those players who come along only once or twice in a lifetime. In the men's game you'd think of Diego Maradona or Messi, players with a unique talent, and that’s what Kelly has."[ citation needed ]

Smith has competed in the 2001, 2005, and 2009 editions of the UEFA Women's Championship, as well as the 2007 and 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup with England. She also played in the 2007 China Cup against the United States, Germany and China where she was named the player of the tournament. Smith was voted third in the 2009 FIFA Women's World Player of the Year, fourth in 2007 and fifth in 2006 and 2008.

Smith reportedly became England's all-time record goalscorer in September 2010, when she scored her 41st international goal against Switzerland. [15]

In 2011, Smith competed in the FIFA World Cup, where she scored from the spot in England's quarterfinal match with France, to give England a 1–0 lead in the penalty shootout (England would go on to lose the shootout 4–3). Smith, hindered by an achilles injury, was dissatisfied with her own performances at the tournament: "I have to acknowledge that I didn't play well and I have to live with that." She returned to the England squad for a UEFA Women's Euro 2013 qualifying tie with Serbia after missing the first three matches of the campaign. [16]

On 3 February 2015, Smith announced her retirement from international duty. [17]

International goals

Scores and results list England's goal tally first.

Great Britain Olympic

In June 2012 Smith was named in the 18–player Great Britain squad for the 2012 London Olympics. [18] Smith incurred a minor injury in the 1–0 group stage win over Brazil at Wembley Stadium, and was unable to join Team GB in their quarter final defeat by Canada. [19]

Television broadcast

Smith made her television debut on FOX Sports in December 2014, [20] and provided commentary for 2018 FIFA World Cup. [21]

In April 2021, Smith joined fellow British Olympians Nicola Adams and Greg Rutherford, and fitness instructor Mr Motivator in launching the ‘Energy Fit for the Future’ campaign by Smart Energy GB, which aimed at encouraging people to install smart meters in their homes. [22]

Personal life

Smith studied at Francis Combe School and Community College. [23]

She has spoken about her previous alcohol addiction which included treatment at The Priory and Sporting Chance Clinic. [24]

In June 2016 she married management consultant DeAnna Dobosz. She gave birth to their son, Rocco Jude, in May 2017. [25]

Honours

Smith was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2008 Birthday Honours. [26]

Arsenal

England

Related Research Articles

Karen Carney English international footballer and sports journalist

Karen Julia Carney is an English sports journalist and former professional footballer who played as a winger and midfielder. Carney has been a regular broadcaster for live football on BT Sport and Amazon Prime, including Women's Super League and men's Premier League matches since 2019. She is also a sports columnist for BBC Sport, BBC Radio 5 Live and BBC Television.

Lianne Sanderson English footballer

Lianne Joan Sanderson is an English professional footballer who plays as a forward. She won 50 caps for the England national team.

Alex Scott (footballer, born 1984) English footballer and sports commentator (born 1984)

Alexandra Virina Scott is an English television presenter, pundit, and former professional footballer who mostly played as a right-back for Arsenal W.F.C. in the FA WSL. She made 140 appearances for the England women's national football team and represented Great Britain at the 2012 Summer Olympics.

Katie Chapman English association football player (born 1982)

Katie Sarah Chapman is an English former footballer who last played for English FA WSL club Chelsea Ladies and was a member of the England women's national team. She primarily played as a central midfielder, although she was also deployed in central defence while playing for England. Chapman has been described as "a physical player who handles a brunt of the dirty work in the middle of the pitch." Her playing ability, profile and influence have drawn comparisons to former England captain David Beckham.

Eniola Aluko English association football player

Eniola Aluko is a British-Nigerian football executive, commentator, and former professional player. She is currently the sporting director of Angel City FC in Los Angeles. Before retiring from professional football in January 2020, Aluko last played as a forward for Juventus. Since 2014 she has also provided television commentary on football, including men’s and women’s FIFA World Cups.

Anita Asante

Anita Amma Ankyewah Asante is an English football defender currently playing for Aston Villa in the FA WSL. As indicated by her name, Asante is of Ghanaian descent. Asante has earned 71 caps for the English national team and was selected in the Great Britain squad for the 2012 London Olympics.

Fara Williams English footballer

Fara Tanya Franki Merrett MBE is an English former footballer who played as a central midfielder for multiple clubs, as well as the English national team. A consistent goalscorer and set-piece specialist, Williams was considered one of England's leading players. After making her senior debut in 2002, Williams earned 172 caps for the England Women's Team, making her their highest capped player. She played at the 2005, 2009, 2013 and 2017 European Championships, as well as the World Cups in 2007, 2011 and 2015. Williams also featured for Team GB at the 2012 London Olympics.

Jody Handley English footballer

Jody Handley is an English former footballer from Stafford, who most recently played for FA WSL 2 club Doncaster Rovers Belles. A pacy and intelligent attacking player, she featured as both a wide midfielder and striker for England as well as clubs including Wolves Women, Liverpool Ladies and Everton Ladies. She has featured in four FA Women's Cup finals with three clubs, losing the first three but captaining Everton Ladies to their win in 2010.

Jill Scott (footballer) English footballer

Jill Louise Scott is an English footballer who plays as a midfielder for Everton on loan from Manchester City and the England national team. The FIFA technical report into the 2011 Women's World Cup described Scott as one of England's four outstanding players; "[an] energetic, ball-winning midfielder who organises the team well, works hard at both ends of the pitch and can change her team's angle of attack."

Gemma Davison English footballer

Gemma Suzanne Davison is an English footballer. She plays as a winger for FA WSL club Aston Villa who previously played for Tottenham Hotspur, Reading whom she joined from Chelsea in 2018. After joining Arsenal at youth team level from Watford Ladies, Davison became a regular player and won several trophies. She also spent time in the United States playing for various American clubs in three separate spells. Davison is a full senior international player for the England women's national football team.

Kim Little Scottish association football player (born 1990)

Kim Alison Little is a Scottish footballer who captains Arsenal in the FA WSL. Before her retirement from international duty in 2021, she was also vice-captain of the Scotland women's national team.

Natasha Dowie English footballer

Natasha Khalila Dowie is an English footballer who plays as a striker for Women's Super League club Reading. She represented the England women's national football team at the youth level before making her senior international debut in 2009. Dowie played for the London teams Watford, Fulham and Charlton Athletic, and then spent five years with Everton before transferring to FA WSL clubs Liverpool Ladies in November 2012 and Doncaster Rovers Belles in 2016. She also spent three periods on loan with Melbourne Victory of the Australian W-League in 2015, 2016, and 2017 and played for Boston Breakers in the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) in 2016 and 2017.

Kerry Davis English footballer

Kerry Davis is an English former international women's footballer. During her 16-year international career, Davis represented the England women's national football team in the inaugural 1984 UEFA Championships final and at England's first FIFA Women's World Cup appearance in 1995. She also helped England win the Mundialito tournament in Italy and scored for her country at Wembley Stadium. At club level Davis spent four seasons playing in Italy, in between spells with Crewe Alexandra Ladies. She later played for Liverpool Ladies and Croydon.

Lucy Bronze English international footballer

Lucia Roberta Tough Bronze is an English footballer who plays as a right-back for English club Manchester City and the England national team. She has previously played for Sunderland, Everton, Liverpool, and Olympique Lyonnais as well as the North Carolina Tar Heels at college level in the United States. Bronze has won three UEFA Women's Champions League titles with Olympique Lyonnais as well as three FA Women's Super League titles with Liverpool and Manchester City.

Ellen White (footballer) English international footballer

Ellen Toni White is an English international footballer who plays as a forward for Manchester City and the England national team. With England, she has competed at three FIFA Women's World Cup tournaments: in the 2011, 2015 and 2019, reaching the semi-finals in 2015 and 2019 and finishing third in 2015. White earned the Bronze Boot award at the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup in France. She represented Great Britain team at the 2012 and 2020 Summer Olympics.

Jordan Nobbs English footballer

Jordan Nobbs is an English footballer who plays for FA WSL club Arsenal. She has been described as a "combative" central midfielder who "scores goals".

Justine Joanna Lorton is an English footballer, and former England international player. A deep–lying forward player, Lorton enjoyed two spells at Arsenal Ladies as well as playing in Iceland and Sweden.

Jodie Taylor English footballer

Jodie Lee Taylor is an English footballer who plays as a striker for Orlando Pride of NWSL. She began her club career with local team Tranmere Rovers and had brief spells in her home country with Birmingham City, Lincoln Ladies, and Arsenal. A well-traveled player, she has also played abroad in the United States, Canada, Australia, Sweden and France.

Lisa Evans Scottish footballer

Lisa Catherine Evans is a Scottish professional footballer who plays for West Ham United on loan from Arsenal in the FA WSL, the top-tier for women's football in England, and for the Scotland national team. She previously played club football for Glasgow City in her native country, and for Turbine Potsdam and FC Bayern Munich in Germany's Frauen-Bundesliga, winning the domestic league title in all three nations.

Chloe Kelly English international footballer

Chloe Maggie Kelly is an English footballer who plays as a forward for Manchester City in the FA WSL and the England national team. She previously played for Arsenal and Everton and represented England on the under-17, under-19 and under-20 national teams.

References

  1. "Player Statistics". FIFA. Retrieved 13 October 2010.
  2. Leighton, Tony (22 May 2009). "Kicking against the prejudice". The Guardian . Retrieved 28 June 2012.
  3. Davies, Pete (30 August 1995). "Life's a pitch for women footie players". The Independent . Retrieved 6 April 2012.
  4. 1 2 3 Kessel, Anna (2 September 2007). "England's hot shot". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 17 June 2010.
  5. "It's a very proud moment – Kelly". Women's Soccer Scene. 28 May 2006. Retrieved 17 June 2010.
  6. "A season of achievement". The Football Association. 23 May 2007. Retrieved 17 June 2010.
  7. Leighton, Tony (8 February 2009). "Smith quits Arsenal for US league". BBC Sport. Retrieved 9 February 2009.
  8. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 23 April 2009. Retrieved 30 October 2009.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  9. Leighton, Tony (31 January 2012). "England's Kelly Smith devastated by US league cancellation". BBC . Retrieved 5 April 2012.
  10. Winter, Henry (6 April 2012). "England's Kelly Smith: 'Why I prefer to watch women's game'". The Daily Telegraph . Retrieved 6 April 2012.
  11. "London 2012: Kelly Smith faces Olympic fitness race". BBC. 3 April 2012. Retrieved 6 April 2012.
  12. Davis, Pete (12 November 1995). "It's a whole new ball game". The Independent. London. Retrieved 17 June 2010.
  13. Searl, Liz (20 November 1995). "England's women consolidate position". The Independent. London. Retrieved 17 June 2010.
  14. Chaudhary, Vivek (16 October 1999). "Americans body-check England women". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 13 February 2011.
  15. "England 2-0 Switzerland | Women's World Cup qualifying match report". 12 September 2010.
  16. Leighton, Tony (3 November 2011). "Kelly Smith in England squad for Euro 2013 qualifier". BBC Sport. London. Retrieved 26 November 2011.
  17. "Kelly Smith: England striker ends international career". BBC Sport. 3 February 2015. Retrieved 3 February 2015.
  18. "Team GB women's squad for London 2012 announced". BBC Sport. 26 June 2012. Retrieved 26 June 2012.
  19. "Team GB v Canada Post Match Reaction Part 1". She Kicks. 4 August 2012. Retrieved 24 August 2012.
  20. "Kelly Smith, Soccer Studio Analyst" . Retrieved 18 June 2018.
  21. "FOX Sports' WORLD CUP TONIGHT Premieres with Global Megastar Zlatan Ibrahimovic". 14 June 2018. Retrieved 18 June 2018.
  22. Adams, Tim (30 April 2021). "Greg Rutherford on Smart Energy GB and his bobsleigh ambitions". Athletics Weekly . Retrieved 17 May 2021.
  23. Dellafiora, Paola (1 July 2009). "School reunion marks end of an era". Watford Observer. Retrieved 30 August 2019.
  24. "Kelly Smith: 'I would drink every day, on my own, until I passed out'". The Independent. 22 October 2011. Retrieved 23 May 2020.
  25. @kelly_smith10 (14 July 2017). "4 weeks ago today this little man called Rocco Jude decided to come early. 💙" (Tweet) via Twitter.
  26. "No. 58729". The London Gazette (Supplement). 14 June 2008. p. 23.
  27. Kubusch, Lars; Shannon, David (6 March 2005). "2003–04 season" . Retrieved 30 March 2018.
  28. Harris, Chris (1 May 2006). "FA Women's Cup Final: Leeds 0–5 Arsenal" . Retrieved 30 March 2018.
  29. Cheese, Caroline (7 May 2007). "Arsenal Ladies 4–1 Charlton Women" . Retrieved 30 March 2018.
  30. Harris, Chris (5 May 2008). "FA Women's Cup Final – Leeds 1–4 Arsenal" . Retrieved 30 March 2018.
  31. Harris, Chris (2 August 2006). "Comm Shield: Arsenal Ladies 3 Everton 0" . Retrieved 30 March 2018.
  32. Leighton, Tony (12 March 2009). "England women win Cyprus Cup". The Guardian.
  33. "UEFA Women's EURO 2009 - Final". UEFA. 10 September 2009. Retrieved 7 July 2019.