Kelly Smith has revealed that she will not be taking part in her own celebration game later this month – as she’s three months pregnant!
Releasing a statement on her website, Smith said, “Thanks so much for all the wonderful messages you have sent me since I announced my retirement on 11th January. I’ve been so touched by your warmth and generosity.
“I’m also massively excited about the upcoming celebration game on Sunday 19th February at Borehamwood FC, and I’m really looking forward to meeting you all there.
“But I do have a bit more news to share with you all in advance…
“I won’t actually be playing on Sunday 19th now, as I am three months pregnant. My partner and I are ecstatically happy and joyfully getting ready for our baby’s arrival.
“So, although I won’t be on the pitch, I will be on the side lines coaching my All Star team team and I will also be speaking and engaging with the crowd.
“It will be a fabulous match!
“See you there.”
While it will be a massive shame for the fans who are expected to fill the ground to pay tribute to one of the greatest talents the game has ever seen, I’m sure they’ll understand her reasons and wish her all the best for this new chapter of her life.
It also highlights one of the major differences between women’s and men’s football which is rarely mentioned. The men don’t need to stop playing for a year or more when they are having a baby. We all know how disruptive a serious injury can be to a football career yet every woman playing has to choose between a similar time on the sidelines or forgoing having a family until later in life when their playing career is finished
Smith is rumoured to be in line to take over coaching the Arsenal development side.
Here at Daily Cannon, we want to wish Kelly and her partner all the best for their upcoming arrival!