Fran Kirby is ready to conquer the world and show the way for more women to do so after overcoming a life gripped by tragedy.
The Lionesses star opened up to SPORTbible in an exclusive interview about losing her mum when she was just 14 years old.
Kirby recalls the night when her mum was rushed to hospital after a brain hemmorhage but she didn't make it to the next morning.
"My world just shut down. I thought, 'Why is this happening to me?'", says Kirby.
"I tried to switch off from everything and focus on football. But when I lost the person who took me to training and got me out of bed in the morning when I didn't want to go, it didn't feel the same."
Now 25 years old, Kirby will lead England's charge at the Women's World Cup this summer and wants nothing less than to be victorious in the final on July 7.
"I don't want to get knocked out in the semi-final again. I don't care if I don't step on that pitch, just as long as we win that trophy," she says.
"Young girls will have top professionals they can look up to and aspire to be. It wasn't until I was seven or eight that I even knew there were girls' football teams.
"We're all very aware of the influence we can have. Playing for your country at a World Cup has to come first, but then alongside that, we have to show young girls that this pathway is open to them."
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