The low-key lives of the Lionesses off the pitch

Low-key Lionesses: England women’s team, who are on the brink of glory at the World Cup, live VERY wholesome lives off pitch (but they still know how to party!)

  • FEMAIL reveals how the England team unwind in their home lives 
  • READ MORE: Why isn’t Prince William flying to Australia to watch the Lionesses? Row breaks out over royal’s absence as he and Rishi Sunak remain in Britain for World Cup final while Queen Letizia jets out to watch Spain

They stand on the brink of glory as the nation is poised for football to come home following 57 years of hurt.

But the heroines of the hour, the Lionesses, remain humble as ever ahead of the World Cup Final against Spain on Sunday at the Stadium Australia in Sydney.

The team, who are known for being a tightly-knit squad, share snippets into their lives off-pitch on social media and in interviews – and they are always quick to credit their families, partners and friends with supporting them throughout their careers.

It’s no secret that there is a stark difference in the salaries earnt by male and female footballers – which means many of the Lionesses began their footballing careers juggling other part-time jobs.

Despite a meteoric rise to stardom following their sensational Euro 2022 win which saw lucrative brand deals flooding in, the players remain grounded off-pitch.

They often speak of the importance of family and many players are close to their parents and siblings.

Here, FEMAIL takes a look at the low-key, wholesome lives the Lionesses live off the pitch – and the ones who still find time between training to party… 


Mario Russo revealed his pride in his star striker daughter on Instagram as he shared a snap of the whole family on the pitch after England’s win over Australia

Alessia has previously paid tribute to her ex-copper father Mario on Instagram and shared a photo of herself with him in which she said she was ‘forever grateful’ for him 

After the Lionesses won the Euro 2022 trophy, Russo donned a little black dress to head out for dinner with her family to celebrate

Alessia Russo, who hails from Kent, has had a storming tournament so far, with her goal against Australia cementing England’s place in the World Cup Final.

But off-pitch, the 24-year-old knows the importance of family.

Her father Mario, an ex-cop, used to play for Met Police FC and her brother Giorgio, 28 played for non-league side Ramsgate.

As the sponsorship deals fly in for the striker, Alessia keeps her business dealings within the family and hired her other brother Luca, 29 to be her agent.

Mother Carol recently recalled Alessia as a ‘cute three-year-old dancing in a tutu’ but added that she had been desperate to ditch ballet because she wanted to go to football training with her dad and brothers.

After Russo’s goal against Colombia sent England flying through to the semi-finals to face Australia, her cousin Neill Andrew, 29, told MailOnline that everyone back home as well is rooting for her and the team.

‘We’ve all passed on our best wishes for Lessi and the Lionesses,’ said kitchen firm boss Neill. ‘We’re a close-knit family, though maybe not as close as we used to be, now everyone has grown up.’

But Neill said some of his favourite memories from combined family holidays to Italy involved him and his siblings and Alessia and her two elder brothers playing football.

Russo’s Instagram account gives some idea of how close she is to her family, as she has paid tribute to her father, brothers and mother in sweet family snaps.

After the Lionesses made history with their Euro 2022 win, the striker donned a chic little black dress to head out for a celebratory meal with her loved ones.

Posting a sultry snap on Instagram, she wrote: ‘Special night celebrating the Euros with the whole family.’

Elsewhere, Russo has posted snaps of herself with Giorgio as they took a trip to the rugby – and according to his Instagram account, he has travelled out with the whole family to cheer on his sister.

Russo has also paid tribute to her father, sharing a snap of herself with Mario in 2021 with the caption: ‘Forever grateful.’

As the family gathers down under to support the star striker, Mario has posted family snaps on Instagram of himself, Carol, Luca and Alessia posing on Sydney Harbour. 

At the end of the semi final, shortly after Russo told BBC Sport that her motivation in the match had been her loved ones in the crowd, Mario posted a photo of the whole Russo clan on the pitch with their star as they donned her number 23 shirt.

He captioned the photo: ‘Pride! World Cup Final!’ 


Chloe Kelly with her boyfriend Scott. The pair have been together for at least three years. The pair celebrated their three year anniversary in June – with Chloe sharing a picture of them together with their dog

Chloe Kelly’s life off-pitch is somewhat more laid-back as the Londoner, who now lives in Manchester, appears to be something of a home-bird

Kelly has been soaking up the sun in Australia during the World Cup 2023 tournament

Chloe Kelly made sure the nation remembered her in the Euro 2022 final, when she was substituted onto the pitch, scored a sensational goal, and was promptly booked for whipping off her shirt and spinning it above her head.

Despite her barnstorming entrance on the international stage, Kelly’s life off-pitch is somewhat more laid-back.

The 24-year-old Londoner, who is currently based in Manchester, lives with her boyfriend of around three years, Scott.

The couple, who have been together for more than three years, share an adorable dog Otis.

Most recently, Scott appeared on Chloe’s Instagram account looking smart in an all-black outfit, while his girlfriend dazzled in an orange co-ord which showed off her incredible figure.

Captioning the photos, Chloe wrote: ‘Much needed downtime with my [love] before a big summer ahead.’

Speaking in an interview with Glamour UK last year, Chloe revealed a glimpse into what her daily life is like, and stressed the importance of looking after her body.

She said: ‘I train my body to perform, not to look good. But looking good is always a bonus…

‘I think being able to perform at the highest level [involves] making sure I’m eating right, drinking right and sleeping well, as well as making sure I’m doing all my recovery possible to perform on the pitch.’ 

Kelly hails from humble beginnings as the youngest of seven children, whose first taste of football was playing with her five older brothers on a caged pitch on the Windmill Park Estate.

‘I don’t think there are many who came up playing in a cage,’ the 24-year-old has previously said. ‘I was always around the cage with the boys as soon as I was allowed, about the age of seven. 

‘My brothers included me even though they were older and playing with their friends.’

However she added her brothers certainly didn’t go easy on her because she was a girl

‘They were probably the ones telling everyone to hit me harder. Get used to it,’ she joked. ‘If I was on the floor, they would tell me to get up.’

Now a star on the international stage, Kelly certainly hasn’t forgotten where she came from – when she gets a chance to head home to west London, she spends her time watching her brothers Jack, Ryan, Jamie and Martin play local league football.


Ella Toone often shares a glimpse into her life with her boyfriend, non-league footballer Joe Bunney, on Instagram

Shortly after the couple went public with their relationshp last year they were pictured living it up in Ibiza

She may be one of the youngest members of the team, but 21-year-old Ella Toone, from Manchester, is used to representing the country on an international stage.

The Manchester United player and fan first played for her club as a girl before returning four years ago following stints at Manchester City and Blackburn Rovers.

She has represented England at under-17, under-19 and under-21 level.

After leaving school, whilst playing for Manchester United, she enrolled onto a Level 3 Extended Diploma Sport Science course at Wigan and Leigh College.

The glamorous football player has 88k followers on Instagram and regularly shares snaps of her nights out and training sessions.

She still finds time to watch Manchester United at home and away.

‘I just love going and supporting; it’s been a part of me since I was a little girl. We get tickets for home games for if we’re not training,’ she said.’I’ve got a little source at the club who sorts me out away tickets but I’m not telling any of the girls that because it’s just me.’

It was revealed last year that Ella was dating a non-league footballer who is her ‘biggest cheerleader’.

Fresh from her goal scoring exploits at Euro 2022, the 22-year-old was spotted enjoying a loved-up holiday with her beau Joe Bunney.

The pair were snapped partying in Ibiza, where they were hugging and kissing on the beach.

The couple were introduced to each other through mutual friends, with the Sun quoting an anonymous associate as saying ‘they are the perfect pairing’.

The friend added: ‘Joe is Ella’s biggest cheerleader and he could not have been more proud to watch her lifting the trophy at the Euros.

‘They keep their love life out of the spotlight usually but Joe couldn’t resist joining Ella in Ibiza to celebrate with her.’

Since their relationship came to light, Ella has been full of praise for Joe on social media and often posts selfies of herself and her beau.


Lauren Hemp enjoys her downtime and recently shared a snap of herself chilling by the pool on holiday while reading Alex Scott’s memoir, How (Not) To Be Strong

Hemp abroad with her former Man City star, goalkeeper Sandy MacIver

Lauren Hemp, whose goals and assists throughout the tournament have put her at the forefront of the Lionesses’ campaign for glory, is perhaps one of the most humble players in the England squad.

She has previously revealed she didn’t realise the dizzying heights she was set to reach until she was recognised by a fan in a chippy.

She told the Mail: ‘I did get noticed in a chip shop once by some young girls from a local side that I had played for. It probably wasn’t the best place to get recognised even though I wasn’t actually getting something [to eat], I’d just gone along with my sister.

‘I think it’s nice for them to know that there is a way to get to the top even though you’re from an area that not that many people come from. There’s not that many opportunities where I’m from in Norwich but as the women’s game grows, it’s nice to see more.’

The 23-year-old striker who hails from Norwich has previously revealed she’s a real home bird, which caused her to struggle in her earlier years of playing and touring.

‘It was hard to begin with,’ Hemp said. ‘I’d go away on tours with Norwich and cry every night and struggle to sleep because I was missing home. I don’t think I realised how difficult it would be at first.’ 

By the time she was 21, she had won the PFA Young Player of the Year a record four time and for three successive seasons.

Yet she remains humble – with those around her suggesting her biggest strength is that she does not know how good she is.

‘Lauren is very laid-back, but I think it’s important she stays that way,’ her City and England team-mate Demi Stokes previously said. ‘We’re always encouraging her. We’ll all support her and, well, give her the ball and say ‘run!’.’

It’s not just football Lauren loves, as she has been known to watch the cricket from time to time too.

Last August she went to The Oval with a friend to watch The Hundred and posed for a snap which she posted on Instagram.

She also appears to enjoy a bit of downtime and recently showed off her stunning toned figure on Instagram as she sat poolside and chilled out with her book – former Lioness Alex Scott’s memoir How (Not) To Be Strong.


Alex Greenwood and Jack O’Connell, both 28, have known each other since their school days

Alex looked glam and tanned on her Ibiza holiday where she relaxed before gearing up for the Euros

Like her team-mate Williamson, Liverpool-born Alex Greenwood, 29, joined a prestigious club at the age of eight, when she signed for Everton

Liverpool-born Alex Greenwood, 29, joined a prestigious club at the age of eight, when she signed for Everton.

She told The Telegraph: ‘I played up with them [boys] and they treated me like a little sister. They didn’t push me away. Not being disrespectful, but probably because I was just as good as them if not better than them.

‘So for them it was, “Why would we push her away? She’s as good as us”. Maybe I have a different story to other people, but I never struggled or suffered, being a girl. If anything I got respected more because I was a girl.’

She later joined Liverpool, before signing to Manchester United. She is currently with Manchester City.

Alex is known as one of the most glamorous members of the squad, with team-mate Jordan Nobbs previously saying she is ‘very big into her heels, her dresses and her eyelashes’.

In 2013, she revealed she is a ‘girly-girl’ and loves shopping as well as getting her hair and makeup done.

She told Liverpool Echo: ‘I’ve always been a girly girl and I love getting my hair done but that doesn’t mean I can’t play football.’

If there is anyone who understands the pressure of performing in a football match it is her boyfriend Jack O’Connell, 28, who plays as a centre-back for Sheffield United.

The couple met at school and have been together for several years but prefer to keep a low profile on social media.

They recently jetted off to Dubai for a sun-soaked holiday and shared snaps of the five-star experience on Instagram.

However, she tends to keep a low profile on social media, having previously spoken about how difficult she finds online abuse.

She told The Independent that abuse she received after moving from United to rivals City left her ‘wrecked’, adding: ‘I don’t think people were aware of how badly it actually affected me, because I didn’t let my football suffer…

‘Even if your notifications are off, every time you go on social media to engage with your friends or whatever, it’s there. And naturally as a human being, the negative ones stick. Those are the ones that play in your mind.’


Lucy Bronze, 31, knows about hard work – having once worked in a Domino’s pizza takeaway

The Lioness joined the team trip to California in May and looked cool in sunglasses, a green top and white combat trousers

The dog lover often posts photos of herself and her little terrier walking around Manchester

Lucy Bronze, 31, knows about hard work – having once worked in a Domino’s pizza takeaway.

She did not take the traditional pathway to success and there was a time when the defender, who has dual nationality through her Portuguese father, thought she might never play for the Lionesses.

She attended soccer camps in America with former US women’s coach Anson Dorrance, who later signed her to play for the University of North Carolina. Dorrance wrote to the FA as well as clubs in England to try and convince them of Bronze’s ability.

She previously explained: ‘I was 12-years-old and Anson said: “When you’re old enough we want you to play for the university, you’re going to be such a good player”, and he even wrote to a couple of people in England and told them about me. It kind of fell on deaf ears a bit, no one really got back to him. They might potentially be regretting that now!

‘To come from there, and take what is not considered the normal way, and make it to the top, makes everything I’ve done even more special. It makes my family even more proud and I can pat myself on the back a little bit harder for it.’

After training with Dorrance, who encourages competitiveness among his female players, the defender said his influence was a ‘turning point’ in her career.

Describing the fighting spirit he instilled in Bronze, Dorrance said he trained her in an environment where ‘every day is a war’ and you should be ‘beating your teammates to death to get better’.

Bronze has now capped 88 times by England and won the Silver Ball at the 2019 World Cup – the award which recognises the second-most outstanding player at the tournament.

She has played for City and Liverpool, and went abroad with Lyon for three years where she was earning around £140,000 a year. The experienced full-back then returned to City in 2020.

Overall, she won five trophies across both stints, having lifted the Women’s Super League, two FA WSL Cups and two Women’s FA Cups.

Last month, defender Bronze completed her medical and penned a two-year deal to seal her sensational switch to Barcelona for an undisclosed sum.


Mary Earps, 30, a talented Manchester United goalkeeper, grew up supporting Liverpool

Earps, who now plays for Manchester United, credits her dancing skills for giving her the confidence to shout at defenders on the pitch

Mary Earps, 30, a talented Manchester United goalkeeper, grew up supporting Liverpool.

Earps could have progressed in judo after becoming a junior black belt at the age of 15.

But she credits dancing lessons for giving her the confidence to shout at defenders on the football pitch.

She says: ‘When you’re doing a singing and dancing solo on stage to Pop Goes the Weasel, demanding your defender goes a little bit right or left doesn’t faze you.’

Earps was third choice for England at the 2019 World Cup and was left out in the cold towards the end of Phil Neville’s reign and the interim period under Hege Riise.

It was Sarina Wiegman who brought the 29-year-old back into the fold and she has not looked back.

‘I had a period of time where I wasn’t involved and it was a very difficult time,’ Earps told Sportsmail earlier this year.

‘A lot of things happened behind closed doors. There was a lot of silence and a lot of loneliness and that was hard for me to deal with. Now I’m just enjoying and embracing every single moment.’

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