Chelsea forward Fran Kirby has been named the Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year for the second time in her career.
Kirby, 27, played a starring role as Chelsea won a second straight Women’s Super League title, scoring 16 goals, while also contributing 11 assists.
The England forward has also spearheaded Chelsea towards a first Women’s Champions League final, as the competition’s top scorer with six goals ahead of Sunday’s clash with Barcelona.
“It’s really special,” Kirby said. Sky Sports News after adding to its 2017/18 price.
“I think everyone in this building knows that I play for this team, I play for everyone who comes in here every day and I think I show that in my performances.
“I’m going to walk through a brick wall for these girls and all the staff and I think anyone can see it, and I’m really, really honored to win these awards and it’s amazing, but I know I could never achieve everything I have accomplished without them. “
Kirby’s superb season followed an absence of nearly a year with a viral illness that threatened to end his career.
In November 2019, she was diagnosed with pericarditis – linked to swelling around her heart – and returned to action at the start of the 2020/21 campaign with limited expectations.
“For me, at the start of the year, I had no expectations as to how my year was going to go,” Kirby said.
“I remember talking to people and saying, ‘I just want to get on the pitch, whether it’s for five minutes, whether it’s for 10 minutes. “I had no idea how my year was going to go.
“I was so motivated to come back and be able to come back the right way for my teammates. I didn’t want to come back and be someone the team has to wear.
“It was difficult to start from scratch. I was not in any physical condition, I had not kicked a soccer ball for six months, so I think for me that was the hardest part.”