Messages of support for the England women's national football team have appeared on 23 billboards across England, as the country bids farewell and good luck to the Lionesses ahead of their FIFA Women’s World Cup campaign.
Each billboard celebrates an individual from the 23-player squad and features an image of the Lioness accompanied by a supportive message from an inspiration in their early career, such as a friend, family member, teacher or coach. The billboards have appeared across the country in locations that are special to each player and their journey, from where they grew up to the location of their current club.
Two billboards just outside Reading Station show the city’s support for Reading’s Jade Moore and local girl Fran Kirby.
Berks & Bucks FA Women's & Girls' Football Development Officer, Ellen Hopkins said: "It’s a great way of showing both locally and nationally that everyone is behind the Lionesses and cheering them on ahead of the tournament.
"It also provides the girls across the country with local role models ahead of the World Cup and shows that no matter where you start playing you can then go on to play on the World’s biggest stage. Hopefully it gives the Lionesses an extra boost to go all the way and bring it home, but no matter what happens they know that the country is behind them."
Jade Moore’s dad shared a heartfelt message ahead of the tournament, which featured on her billboard: "How times have changed, from you watching me play football with grandad, to now me watching you with grandad. What a journey! It’s been fantastic! BE LIKE WATER!"
Fran Kirby’s message, written by her dad and brother, reads: “We are your harshest critics, but we will always love and support you. Good luck to you and all the Lionesses."
Phil Neville, manager of the England women’s national team, said: “This is a great send-off for the team ahead of the World Cup and encapsulates the phenomenal support that they have received so far. The girls know that the country is fully behind them and can’t wait to get out there and give it everything.”
The FIFA Women’s World Cup runs from 7 June to 7 July with the Lionesses playing their first game on 9 June against Scotland in Nice, kick off 17:00 (BST). All fixtures will be broadcast live on the BBC.
For more information visit www.thefa.com/lionesses