WSL: Kelly Smith becomes third player to be inducted into Hall of Fame

Women's Super League Hall of Fame was set up to mark the 10-year anniversary of the league; England Women record goalscorer Kelly Smith becomes the third inductee, following Fara Williams and Rachel Yankey who were both inducted on Wednesday

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Kelly Smith is the third player to be inducted into the Women's Super League Hall of Fame

Former England international Kelly Smith has become the third player to be inducted into the Women's Super League Hall of Fame.

Smith, who is England Women's record goalscorer with 46 goals, follows former international team-mates Fara Williams and Rachel Yankey in being recognised by the newly-formed Hall of Fame, which was established in April to mark the 10-year anniversary of the WSL.

After a spell playing in America, Smith returned to the WSL in 2012 to help Arsenal win the league that season, while also playing a starring role in Women's FA Cup victories in 2014 and 2016.

Despite injuries, Smith's career lasted for more than 20 years and in January 2017 she retired at the age of 38 having earned 117 England caps and played in six major international tournaments.

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Rachel Yankey became the second player to be inducted into the WSL Hall of Fame

The Women's Super League Hall of Fame expert selection panel agreed that Smith's impact on the women's game during her career and her achievements made her a worthy inductee into this year's WSL Hall of Fame.

Brighton & Hove Albion head coach and member of the Hall of Fame selection panel, Hope Powell, said: "When thinking of my WSL Hall of Fame inductee selection, Kelly Smith was one of the first individuals I thought of.

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Fara Williams was the first player to be inducted into the WSL Hall of Fame

"There are few words that I can use to describe what she was able to do on the pitch. She was a magician, she made things look so effortless and she just glided across the field with ease.

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"Kelly's profile and respect from different parts of the world has been a huge asset in promoting the women's game here."

The woman English football wasn't ready for

Kelly Smith - Football's Cult Heroes
Image: Kelly Smith - Football's Cult Heroes

Football's Cult Heroes explores the under-reported story of Kelly Smith and why she had to travel to the United States to realise her ambitions.

She returned to win the quadruple with Arsenal, inspiring a new generation with a left foot "like a jackhammer and a paintbrush at the same time". But beyond the sphere of women's football, her achievements still go under the radar.

Told by her team-mates, journalists and fans that were there, we hear how Smith overcame injuries, isolation and alcoholism to leave an everlasting mark on not just women's football, but the future of the English game.

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