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Lioness - My Journey to Glory: Winner of the Sunday Times Sports Book Awards Autobiography of the Year

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Despite disappointments along the way, Beth focused on achieving her ambitions and has become one of the country's most recognised footballers, male or female. Being able to read the player’s perspective of one the biggest turning points of my life just made me love everything that happened this summer more. Of course I loved the chapters about the 2019 World Cup, the 2022 Euros and everything England got up to in-between.

There might be some things that were lacking in some areas—writing, characterisation, plot etc, but there may have been a few moments that I liked. knowing that beth, someone who i look up to is currently going through the same thing as me, made me feel so much less alone. In seeing how fragile life truly was, I found a new motivation to enjoy every aspect of life, and live every moment. I rewatched some of those moments again having read her perspective and was amazed all over again that England won the Euros.

I played football (soccer) as a teenage girl but in the USA, so I do come from a background similar but I Hr UK youth network is quite different and I appreciated seeing that difference. It was so fascinating to revisit the Euros but from Beth’s perspective, finding out what exactly was going on in the background of the very games I watched on TV. It sounds like such a minor thing, but we put so much pressure on ourselves as players that we often forget this. I remember being so sad for all the missed possibilities under the belief that we were about to be knocked out by Spain in the quarters, the adrenaline of the hope that we still had a chance, and the utter elation when we got through to the semis. I liked that she was completely honestly about her feelings at certain points in her career, she definitely wasn’t scared of sharing the lows as well as the highs.

It wasn’t until the Lionesses started winning in the Euros that I started watching their training and interviews on YouTube - something that I do regularly with the men even though they share the “England” channel. You only have to look on social media to see the nonsense these young women have to put up with just because they want to play football. Football is a team game, and through Beth is a standout player she gives full praise to her fellow teammates, coaches, managers, friends, and family.Beth Mead is one of the world's most talented footballers, a Golden Boot winner and Player of the Tournament at the UEFA Euro 2022, England Player of the Year 2021-22, Arsenal Player of the Season 2021-22, and runner-up for the 2022 Ballon d'Or.

I can relate to that all too well, and it was really encouraging to read that such a star player struggles with the same worries. I got through the book quite quickly, and felt myself reliving the Euros and the emotions I felt watching the games. I also loved how open and honest she was with the harder side of football, and the harder side of stepping outside of your comfort zone. I don’t often read autobiographies, and have no time for the culture of celebrity, but this book is different. The journey to European Champion and Player of the Tournament wasn’t easy, success didn’t come without challenges and perseverance.Since this book came out, Beth has been voted Sports Personality of the Year for 2022 - quite rightly, in my opinion. From being placed in the local boys' team as a child because her mum wanted her to run off her boundless energy, to joining Middlesbrough FC's Centre of Excellence and making her professional debut at Sunderland, Beth and women's football have come a long way. I so appreciate Beth's vulnerability and honesty sharing her struggles and I think they will help a lot of people.

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