England Lionesses star Georgia Stanway ran rings around the boys as a kid, idolised Alan Shearer and loves to unwind by going fishing or walking in the Lake District… and her rugby-playing boyfriend is having to follow her Euro heroics from France!
- Stanway’s stunning strike in extra time sent England into Euro 2022 semi-finals
- The 23-year-old striker is poised to become a household name as glory beckons
- England are just two wins away from winning a home European Championship
- Stanway grew up in the Cumbrian town of Barrow and loves the outdoors
- She took up fishing during lockdown with rugby-star boyfriend Olly Ashall-Bott
- He plays for French rugby league club Toulouse and is watching on from France
Once the madness of the Euros has subsided, it would be perfectly understandable if Georgia Stanway craved a bit of peace and quiet.
England’s latest football star may head to her beloved Lake District for a walk or pack her fishing rods and indulge another favourite pastime on a quiet riverbank somewhere.
It will be a way of clearing the mind for the 23-year-old striker, whose rise to prominence within the women’s game has been astonishing.
While enjoying the silence and solitude, Stanway may reflect that from the moment she unleashed that rocket of a shot to send England into the semi-finals of their home European Championship, life will never quite be the same again.
We were six minutes into extra time when Stanway drove forward, ignored a pass to her right and fired off a strike from 23 yards that was clocked at 57mph as it soared into the net.
Stanway to heaven: Georgia’s stunning strike in extra time saw England past Spain to reach the semi-finals of the UEFA European Championship
Stanway settled a tense and difficult contest at Brighton with her 96th-minute piledriver
Stanway’s beaming face was on every back page on Thursday morning, underneath headlines such as ‘Stanway to heaven,’ ‘Stan and deliver’ and ‘Georgia Best’.
It was the moment the Lionesses’ Euros caught fire after a straightforward group stage in which they rattled in 14 goals in three games, without conceding one.
Pushed to the limit by Spain, Sarina Wiegman’s team passed their test of character with flying colours thanks to Stanway’s stunner and are now just two wins away from lifting the trophy.
Stanway could soon become the name on the lips of the whole nation and reap the commercial rewards that will inevitably come with the enormous exposure of a major tournament success.
It will continue a remarkable rise to prominence for the girl from the Cumbrian town of Barrow-in-Furness who started playing football just to prevent her three brothers booting it at her.
Stanway and her boyfriend, the rugby league player Olly Ashall-Bott, and their catch of the day
Stanway took up fishing during the Covid lockdowns and now uses the pastime to unwind
‘I played for a boys team until I was 13. When I’d turn up at games, the opposition would be like, “Ooh, there’s a girl playing”, but I thrived on it,’ Stanway told Stylist magazine.
‘Once you put the ball through someone’s legs and score a goal, they have so much respect for you.’
Playing against the boys certainly fostered a competitive spirit. ‘I wanted to win everything; my tough tackling and that kind of thing came from the boy’s game,’ she told The Times.
‘You don’t have to dress like a boy or act like a boy to play football and you can be whoever you want to be and still enjoy football.
‘There’s no dress code. There’s no, “you have got to look like this.”
Stanway and Ashall-Bott have been going out since 2018, after he sent her an Instagram DM
Ashall-Bott pictured when a Huddersfield Giants player – he has since moved to Toulouse
A Newcastle United fan who grew up idolising Alan Shearer, it was really little surprise that Stanway would become a forward.
As a youngster, she collected Match Attax trading cards of Premier League stars and one of Shearer would come to have additional sentimental value.
‘My Nana’s favourite player was Alan Shearer so whenever I got him, I would always give it to my Nana,’ Stanway said in a Lionesses Q&A.
‘She used to keep some of them and then get rid of the ones which weren’t special or the shiny ones. Just before she died, she gave me the Match Attax back so it is sentimental.
‘I still have it and I took to my first England camp with me so it is important to me.’
Growing up so close to the Lake District nurtured a love of the great outdoors but Stanway would leave home to join the academy at Blackburn Rovers while taking her GCSEs before quickly securing a move to leading Women’s Super League club Manchester City.
Newcastle fan Stanway grew up idolising former England and Magpies striker Alan Shearer
Stanway is Manchester City’s all-time record scorer and has won a series of major honours
Within a few years, she would be the club’s all-time record goalscorer and winner of seven major trophies in English football.
It also earned international recognition and since her debut in 2018, Stanway has played 38 times for England, scoring 11 times, and also four times for Great Britain at the Tokyo Olympics.
Stanway has just left Man City to sign for German club Bayern Munich
She met her boyfriend Olly Ashall-Bott, a rugby league player with France-based Super League club Toulouse Olympique, in 2018.
They had mutual friends but hit it off when Ashall-Bott, 23, sent her a message via Instagram and they went on a date.
They started going fishing together at the start of the first Covid lockdown and the girl who enjoyed cliff-jumping and ghyll scrambling as a child had a new hobby.
‘Literally the second time of going, Georgia caught the biggest fish ever – she’s so competitive in everything she does,’ Ashall-Bott told The Times.
They had settled in Ashall-Bott’s home town of Widnes but their respective sports have taken both overseas. He signed for Toulouse from Huddersfield back in February this year, while Stanway has just signed for Bayern Munich.
‘Moving to Toulouse was the hardest and best decision of my life. It’s been great for my career but it means I can’t support Georgia like I usually do,’ Ashall-Bott told the Mirror this week.
Stanway celebrates with England coach Sarina Wiegman after England overcame Spain
Ashall-Bott described his girlfriend as a ‘hero’ after her winning goal on Wednesday night
‘Hopefully if England get to the final I can be there but the other games I’m having to watch on TV on my own.
‘That’s hard sitting here with my cockapoo Marlo knowing both our families are there supporting her and I’m not.’
Ashall-Bott described his girlfriend as a ‘hero’ in an Instagram post after her match-winning piledriver against Spain.
If England go all the way and win the Euros, the whole nation will feel the same way.
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