Who is Fara Williams and when did she retire from football? | The Sun

FORMER footballer Fara Williams is known as England's most capped female player.

From her success on the pitch to her career off the pitch – here's everything you need to know.

Who is Fara Williams?

Fara Williams, born January 25, 1984, is a former English professional footballer from London.

Once considered to be one of England's leading players, Williams enjoyed an illustrious career, before retiring in 2021.

In 2016, the former midfielder was honoured with an MBE award for her contribution to football and charity.

A year prior to accepting the honour, Williams married former teammate Amy Kane in 2015 – however, the couple separated not long after.

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Following the breakdown of their marriage, the pair have appeared to keep the details of their separation out of the spotlight.

Which teams did Fara Williams play for?

Williams' passion for football started at the age of seven – and by the age of 17, she was a Chelsea first-teamer.

She scored 30 goals for Chelsea's first team in 2000–01, before signing for Charlton Athletic Ladies during the following season.

After a successful spell at the club, which saw Williams win Charlton's Player of the Year and the FA Women's Young Player of the Year in her first season, she made the move to Everton in 2004 – and later became the captain of the club, scoring an incredible 70 goals in 122 appearances.

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After eight years with Everton, she signed for local rivals Liverpool in 2012 and in 2013 she won the WSL title with the Reds and repeated the feat the following season.

In 2015, Liverpool confirmed Williams was leaving the club to sign for Arsenal, before making her final move to join Women's Super League (WSL) rivals Reading on a two-year deal in 2017.

Two years later, Williams hung up her boots after announcing that she would be retiring from the game at the end of the 2020–21 season.

The football ace said: "After much consideration & despite offers to remain within the game.

"I have made the difficult decision to retire from professional football at the end of the season."

She added: "It has been a pleasure and a privilege to have had a career of more than 20 years within the women’s game."

As well as enjoying a glittering career at the above clubs, Williams has also enjoyed international success.

She made her senior England debut aged 17 in Portugal in 2001.

Williams enjoyed a stint as captain of the U19s, but by 2007, she was an England regular and was a key part of the squad that reached the World Cup finals in China.

After making her senior debut in 2001, 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.

What does Fara Williams do now?

Since retiring in 2021, Williams has gone into a career in sports media, appearing as a regular pundit for BBC.

She has also joined current and former Three Lions players who have teamed up with Bluebella lingerie to support the #StrongIsBeautiful campaign.

The campaign, which saw the Lionesses strip down to their lingerie, aims to encourage girls to be proud of their bodies and to keep playing team sports.

Following her endorsement of the campaign, Williams said: ''There is a big drop off in women's football around the age of 13. I have coached girls at that age and their bodies are changing so quickly and you can see that they really struggle with that.

"Often girls would come back after the six-week summer break and during that time they had gone through a major transition into young women, looking different and feeling different.

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"They struggle with what their body is changing into and often just want to cover up, and sometimes don't want to put on a football kit and be more visible.

"I think we have to educate from a young age about the changes girls experience in sport and how we can support them during that process to make them feel more comfortable and confident.''

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