From working in a chip shop to winning WSL Player of the Year: It has been quite the journey for Bethany England

It has been quite the week for Bethany England. The Chelsea forward won WSL Player of the Year and signed a new contract with the West London side in the same week. 

After a magnificent year on a personal level, the forward has been rewarded for her sublime efforts. 

The new deal was rewarded after 14 goals in 15 appearances in the league. Her contract until 2024 has been fully deserved having won the WSL, and then the Continental Cup final in February. She also scored a brace in the 2-1 victory at the City Ground against Arsenal

It has been a long journey in order to score winning goals in cup finals and earning new long-term contracts. Just three years ago, she thought her career was over. In 2017, manager Emma Hayes told her she would leave for Liverpool on loan.  

The move never materialised and now England is one of the best finishers in front of goal in the women's game. Let us go back to the start. 

How did it all start for the sublime finisher? 

England spent time at Barnsley College before becoming a professional footballer. She completed A Levels in Citizenship, Health and Social Care, Law and Sociology. She also played for the college football side. 

Before the big move to London to join Chelsea, the 26-year-old had to work at a chip shop in her early days. Jobs also included working at M&S and a bakery alongside playing semi-professional football.

Signing for Chelsea in 2016, she had to endure loan spells before becoming a regular on the team sheet. 

Born in Barnsley, England’s senior career started in Yorkshire at Doncaster Rovers Belles in 2011. The stint lasted four years in south Yorkshire. In her penultimate campaign, a 21-year-old England netted 14 goals as Doncaster were promoted back to the WSL. 

England made her national team debut in 2019 away at Belgium. She was first picked for her country at under-19's level, whilst still completing A Levels. The first international trip was to Amsterdam as the Lionesses played the Netherlands. Mo Marley subbed England on and she scored with her first touch; a header. 

In 2017 England moved to Merseyside as a loan move to Liverpool was on the cards. On top of joining a massive club, joining Liverpool was all the sweeter after she idolised Steven Gerrard as a child. It was a productive loan spell in the North-West once she finished third highest scorer in the league. 

One of the best finishers around

And back to the present, the current WSL player of the year is waving goodbye the 2019/2020 season with double silverware and 21 goals in all competitions. Becoming the league's highest scorer for two consecutive seasons puts her in the bracket of one of the best finishers in the woman's game.  

Hayes side will be looking to win the WSL next season once it is underway in September. England will be leading the line for Chelsea after signing a new contract.  

The end of next season would have been the Women’s Euros, which was being hosted in England. The competition has been moved to next year and the Chelsea number nine will hope to lead the line in her home country.