Diane Bronze reflects on the rise and development of her England star daughter, Lucy

This Mother’s Day we hear from Diane, mother of England star Lucy Bronze, about how the future Lioness used football to shape her future in her younger years…

Sunday 22 Mar 2020
Diane Bronze has been speaking about her pride in daughter Lucy this Mother's Day

"I don't think there's ever been any time when we didn’t have a football in the house.

“With an older brother, the first thing Lucy had was a football in the garden and it was a case of 'can you beat your brother?'

"They would play all the time, we lived in a village so all the kids would play football at the end of the street, that's what they did - it was either riding a bike or kicking a football.

"At the age of ten, she would do keepy-uppies in the kitchen while making a cup of tea as she just needed to play all the time.

"Lucy's brother has always been an influence on her in football and her life, because the pair of them always just had a competition, whether it was on Wii, FIFA or out on the field.

"When Lucy joined her first team, you could see that competitiveness straight away. I used to feel sorry for the little boys because she would be chasing after them and making sure no-one could score past her team.

"To be involved in a team was absolutely everything for her. She was very quiet at school, but a different character on the field.

"Off the field she was very quiet and shy, but on it she was a competitor all the time.

Lucy Bronze hails from the north-east of England

"I knew nothing about football really, I was just the taxi driver for them, whether it was swimming or football but eventually football was the main one.

“I probably just read the newspaper at first, but it was only when there was a problem because she was a girl that I thought I had to sort it out, because she loved it so much.

"I just wanted to see her enjoy herself. The best thing was seeing her run up the side of the pitch, it was like Billy Whizz with her legs going around and around.

"I know my mum said the same thing and the joy on her face when she was playing, it makes me emotional now.

"With Lucy playing internationally now, you still want to cry when you hear that national anthem - I think I'm still in a state of disbelief because I look and I think, 'is that really my little girl?'

"That's been right from the first time she played in some big matches with Sunderland, such as the FA Cup Final - that was a shock.

"And I remember going to Finland with her younger sister to watch her with England U17s and somewhere I have a photo of her signing an autograph as I couldn't believe somebody would want her autograph.

"It seemed like such a big deal, whereas now it happens all the time. It seems so strange, but she takes it all in her stride.

Diane Bronze is encouraging young girls to join Wildcats to start their football journeys

"All of the family will agree that to see Lucy going from a small child in her brother's shadow to being a young woman who will speak so eloquently on any topic, in more than one language, is unbelievable.

"That's something I thought would never happen because it wasn't in her nature, but the confidence she got from playing in a team, becoming good at it and living a life that she loves - it changes your concept of everything.

"I teach girls at my school and they are absolutely in awe, if I get a cover lesson, they often sneak up and ask if I'm her mum and if it’s true.

"It's great that she’s a role model, because it would have been nice for my girls to have seen women who are strong when they were younger and it's great that younger girls now have that.

"In the town where we live, they now have a full girls team in every age group. She was the only girl playing at that time, but now there's an U10 team, an U12 team, an U14 team, U16 team and an adult team, all in a small town.


"A lot of that is on the back of the 2015 World Cup and I love the fact that now I go through the park and I see girls and boys are playing.

"I think something like Wildcats would’ve helped her out of her shell more quickly when she was younger - the feeling of being entitled to play football rather than having to fight for it, because at times, she had to.

"Being able to make more female friends at an early age and a social life from playing football, is great.

"The minute you get into that environment, playing with people who want to do the same things you want to do, that’s so important.

"Both of my daughters played football, but at the age of around 9-12 years, they got outside and played all the time, made loads of new friends and it’s confidence building as well as the health and the mental health side of things.

"It's something you can do so easily, it's so accessible.

"I still can't believe that Lucy's doing it, I find it hard to talk about how proud I am because it makes me cry.”

Wilcats: For girls aged 5-11 to have fun, make friends and play football across England.

By FA Staff