Bethany England says representing England at a home European Championship is an “amazing experience” after reflecting on a footballing journey that began in a boys’ team with her twin sister Laura.
The 28-year-old has been called up to Sarina Wiegman’s squad for the upcoming tournament. The Lionesses’ games, the first of which will be played at Old Trafford on Wednesday 6 July, are already sold out.
England tells Sky sports news: “I think it will be incredible to have family and friends who can travel around in the home countries and come to all the games. With sold out stadiums it will be packed. It’s just going to be a great experience.”
England, who just won the Women’s Super League with Chelsea, have been named 2020 Women’s Player of the Year and PFA Player of the Year. She has scored 60 goals and won 16 caps in 126 games for Chelsea.
What many don’t know is that England have a twin sister, Laura, who is also a talented sportswoman. The pair played for Sheffield United academy but started out in a boys’ team.
“We weren’t afraid of duels, neither when tacking nor when giving,” remembers Laura.
While Bethany admits the boys have always been very welcoming, the girls got to put her through her paces. One of her most vivid memories was of a rather brutal defeat.
“The very first game, I think it was against Spy Rangers, we lost 22-0,” said Bethany. “Honestly, no matter how hard you think, that sounds brutal. It didn’t blow our minds. We still wanted to keep playing.”
When the two were growing up, women’s football was nowhere near what it is today. Very little was shown on television and there were very few role models to follow. Laura decided to focus on the javelin instead, which she has done internationally, training alongside the likes of Jessica Ennis-Hill.
The girls may have matching tattoos and matching dogs, but they have very different personalities and are not identical twins. Laura admits it has its perks because unlike Bethany, she doesn’t get stopped all the time at the grocery store for her autograph. Nonetheless, they are highly competitive.
Bethany said: “We played tennis at the side of our house once. I lost and I was so angry that I threw down the bat. It bounced off and hit her in the face. She had to have surgery to have it removed.”
With the surname “England” it seems almost fitting that both girls have competed internationally in their own sports. It does have its downsides, however, as they discovered 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 for the last name,” Laura recalls. “She said ‘England’ and they hung up. They didn’t want to believe us because they thought it was a prank call.”
Table of Contents
Follow Euro 2022 on Sky Sports
Stay up to date on Euro 2022 this summer via Sky Sports and Sky Sports News.
The coverage will be moderated 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 are also joined by veteran England goalkeeper Karen Bardsley and Manchester City defender Esme Morgan.
The experts and presenters will work from the Sky Sports Women’s Euro 2022 mobile presentation bus, which will follow the Sky Sports News team across the country to the various stadiums where matches will be played.
In addition, Sky Sports’ Essential Football Podcast will be rebranded to Sky Sports Women’s Euros Podcast for the tournament from 21 June. It will be moderated by Charlotte Marsh and Anton Toloui and will feature exclusive news and player interviews, as well as a strong program around the tournament.
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 6th
Group A: England v Austria – kick-off 8pm, Old Trafford
Thursday July 7th
Group A: Norway v Northern Ireland – kick-off 8pm, St Mary’s
Friday, July 8th
Group B: Spain vs Finland – kick-off 5pm, Stadion MK
Group B: Germany v Denmark – kick-off 8pm, London Community Stadium
Saturday July 9th
Group C: Portugal v Switzerland – kick-off 5pm, Leigh Sports Village
Group C: Netherlands v Sweden – kick-off 8pm, Bramall Lane
Sunday 10 July
Group D: Belgium v Iceland – kick-off 5pm, Manchester City Academy Stadium
Group D: France vs Italy – kick-off 8pm, New York Stadium
Monday 11 July
Group A: Austria vs Northern Ireland – kick-off 5pm, St Mary’s
Group A: England v Norway – kick-off 8pm, Brighton and Hove Community Stadium
Tuesday 12th July
Group B: Denmark vs Finland – kick-off 5pm, Stadion MK
Group B: Germany v Spain – kick-off 8pm, London Community Stadium
Wednesday July 13th
Group C: Sweden vs Switzerland – kick-off 5pm, Bramall Lane
Group C: Netherlands v Portugal – kick-off 8pm, Leigh Sports Village
Thursday 14 July
Group D: Italy v Iceland – kick-off 5pm, Manchester City Academy Stadium
Group D: France v Belgium – kick-off 8pm, New York Stadium
Friday 15 July
Group A: Northern Ireland v England – kick-off 8pm, St Mary’s
Group A: Austria vs Norway – kick-off 8pm, Brighton and Hove Community Stadium
Saturday July 16th
Group B: Finland vs. Germany – kick-off 8pm, Stadion MK
Group B: Denmark v Spain – kick-off 8pm, London Community Stadium
Sunday 17 July
Group C: Switzerland v Netherlands – kick-off 5pm, Bramall Lane
Group C: Sweden v Portugal – kick-off 5pm, Leigh Sports Village
Monday 18 July
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 20th
Quarter-Final 1: Group A winners – Group B runners-up – Kick-off 8pm, Brighton and Hove Community Stadium
Thursday 21st July
Quarter-Finals 2: Group B winners – Group A runners-up – Kick-off 8pm, London Community Stadium
Friday 22 July
Quarter-Finals 3: Group C winners – Group D runners-up – Kick-off 8pm, Leigh Sports Village
Quarter-Finals 4: Winners Group D – Runners-up Group C – Kick-off 8pm, New York Stadium
Tuesday, July 26th
Semi-Final 1: Quarter-Final 1 Winner vs. Quarter-Final 3 Winner – Kick-off 8pm, Bramall Lane
Wednesday July 27th
Semi-final 2: Winner of quarter-final 2 – Winner of quarter-final 4 – kick-off 8 p.m., Stadium MK
Sunday 31 July
Winner Semi-Final 1 v Winner Semi-Final 2 – Kick-off 5pm, Wembley