Fran Kirby breaks down on anniversary of mother’s death as England win

Fran Kirby bursts into tears and is consoled by England manager Phil Neville and team-mates on the 11th anniversary of mother’s death – after win over Argentina books Lionesses’ place in last 16 of Women’s World Cup

  • Fran Kirby played a starring role as England qualified for the last-16 stage 
  • The Lionesses defeated Argentina 1-0 to go top of Group D with one game left 
  • Kirby was overcome with emotion as the team gathered in a circle at full-time
  • The fixture coincided with the 11th anniversary of the death of her mother 

Fran Kirby was left in tears and overcome with emotion at the end of England’s victory over Argentina, a fixture which coincided with the 11th anniversary of her mother’s death.

The forward played a starring role in the match as England triumphed 1-0 to book their place in the knockout stage of the World Cup.

At the final whistle, the Lionesses gathered in a circle and manager Phil Neville consoled the tearful Kirby.

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Fran Kirby burst into tears as the emotion got the better of her following England’s victory

Neville was quick to offer some words of consolation as the team gathered in a huddle

The fixture against Argentina coincided with the 11th anniversary of her mother’s death 

Age: 25

Team: Chelsea

Playing position: Forward

England debut: August 3, 2014

England caps: 41

England goals: 12 

Later, Neville said: ‘We are a family. In the huddle at the end, we made reference to the fact that their mums were looking down on them and would be proud of them.

‘We help each other, it’s a sentimental day. Fran is a special person who misses her mum. We share their emotion, their happiness and their sadness.’

Kirby was just 17 when her mother Denise died of a sudden brain haemorrhage, and has previously revealed it took its toll on her football career.

Speaking before the last World Cup in 2015, Kirby paid tribute to her.

‘My mum was massively important to everything I’ve done and now her memory is a motivational tool for me,’ she said.

‘I want to make my family proud, as much as possible.

‘Obviously what happened has brought our family closer together. I’ve become a lot closer to my dad. He comes out and watches games. He’s taken on both roles, of a mum and a dad.’

Manager Phil Neville consoled the forward, who had a huge influence on the game

Jodie Taylor’s outstretched leg sent England to victory against Argentina in Le Harve

Kirby was in the thick of the action in the Stade Oceane as England imposed themselves upon the tie.

An early missed penalty from Nikita Parris only served to fire up Neville’s side, who were wasteful with their many chances.

The deadlock was broken in the second half when Alex Greenwood picked out Jodie Taylor with a pinpoint pass across the goalmouth to allow her team-mate to tap home with ease. 

The victory sees England move on to six points in Group D and confirm passage to the next round.

Their final fixture of the group stage, with Japan, will determine which side progresses in first place. 

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