Speaking at the National Football Museum on 13 December to celebrate the official launch of the first-ever Panini Barclays Women’s Super League Sticker Book, Manchester City’s Chloe Kelly reflected upon the challenges she has faced in her career thus far – before going on to share a sticker-related childhood anecdote with those in attendance.
‘I think making the step from London to up north was a big change for me. Coming up north, it was a completely new world to me. I was 18 and I probably thought I was unbelievable at the time, but it was a reality [check] when I went to Everton,’ she told the crowd.
‘I went from Arsenal where I was training with Kelly Smith and Rachel Yankey, to going to Everton where there were younger players and you had to really dig deep in moments because we were fighting relegation and all that,’ explained the England international, who played a pivotal role in England’s success at last summer’s European Championships.
‘It was an opportunity for me because I wanted to go and get some game time, and leaving Arsenal was the best thing I did in my career. I don’t think I’d be here today, at Manchester City and with England, if I didn’t make that move – but not everything in your journey’s going to be what you want it to be.’
‘I didn’t want to move back up north and leave my family but it made me the player I am today so it’s just about appreciating those moments that you may see in the moment as a negative but definitely [are] not.’
Asked about her childhood experiences with Panini stickers, Kelly then recaIled how she ‘always used to do swaps in the playground’ with her friends. ‘But I went one better,’ she continued, ‘and I swapped my front tire from my bike for a full Panini sticker book because I wanted the full book; I didn’t want to wait! It’s easier to get a front wheel than these stickers!’