Women's Senior
Women's Senior

Nikita Parris on Serena Williams, DJ Khaled and her admiration for Fara Williams

Friday 26 Oct 2018
Nikita Parris has scored 10 goals in 26 internationals

Nikita Parris was England’s top scorer in World Cup qualifying with six goals in six appearances – and here she reveals the inspiration behind her rise to international prominence.

With Phil Neville’s side preparing to take on Sweden next month in their latest piece of preparation for France 2019, Parris took questions from Lionesses fans on Twitter:

Who inspired you to play the game and what advice would you give to a younger you?

When I was younger I would go to football with my brothers and my dad so I’d say they were the first people that really inspired me. Then, once I started playing as a striker, I’d say I looked up to Julie Fleeting and Thierry Henry. I used to watch the Women’s FA Cup final every year and Fleeting would score goals for fun.

England v Sweden
  • A Women's International
  • 1.30pm, Sunday 11 November
  • New York Stadium, Rotherham
And Henry would be scoring worldies in the Prem so I wanted to emulate them both.

And the only advice I’d give to a younger me would be to enjoy every moment because time goes so quickly.

What do you love best about playing for England?

There are hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people across the country that would love to play for England, so to be one of the 23 in the squad is a real honour.

Only 18 players get a squad shirt and obviously only 11 can be in the starting line-up, so every time that happens it’s a huge deal for us all.


The pride you feel when you represent your country, not to mention scoring, is something you can’t really explain. It’s massive.

Have you been given any advice from footballers who have played in the World Cup?

As a youth team player at Everton, Fara Williams was always giving me advice.

That would mainly be about how to become a better player but when a tournament came around she would have a word with me then, too.

Fara was a great help to me at Euro 2017. She told me to enjoy every minute and make sure I took my chance if and when it came.

And I know that if I’m lucky enough to be in the World Cup squad, she’ll be the first person to come up to me and offer advice.

Parris scored in the pivotal 3-0 win over Wales in August

Who is the best goalkeeper you’ve played against?

Even though I scored against her last week, I’d have to say the Birmingham City keeper Ann-Katrin Berger.

She’s a great shot stopper and she’s got a great presence in the goal so she’s always tough to beat. But I guess that makes it all the better when you do manage to score against her. She’s a top player.

If you weren’t a footballer what would you be and why?

I would love to have been a tennis player simply because of Serena Williams.

I still play a bit of tennis, but only a knockabout to help with my recovery after a game. I’m fairly average but if I had the time to play a bit more I think I’d be decent.

What is your favourite song that gets you pumped up before a match?

Right now I’d probably say ‘All I do is win’ by DJ Khaled. It gets me in the right frame of mind for the game – because all I want is that ‘W’.

By FA Staff