Women's World Cup 2019: The real Lionesses - your stories about England stars

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Highlights: Norway 0-3 England

After England reached the Women's World Cup semi-finals, we asked you for your stories of meeting Lionesses players - and you did not let us down.

Here is a selection of your tales.

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Houghton smashes in indirect free-kick to give England the lead

I watched Steph Houghton play up front for Sunderland when she was 14 as my flatmate also played for Sunderland at the same time. If my memory is correct, her dad used to give her money for every goal she scored. I bumped into her again a couple of years ago, she was as down to earth as she always was. I have followed football my whole life but the dedication, determination and humility of the women's game will always set the ladies apart. You can natter to a women's England international player about the passion and pride of representing their nation. Bring football home ladies.

Cathy Foster, Newcastle-upon-Tyne

I was working at a conference at St George's Park while the Lionesses were in residence. I happened to stumble across a couple of the players. One was Alex Scott, my daughter's favourite player. I asked her if I could have a selfie and the other player said: "Do you want me to take the picture for you?" The picture was duly taken, and I thanked the players. Later on in the day I discovered that the other player who had kindly taken the picture was Steph Houghton! How embarrassing to have not been bothered to ask the England captain for a picture with her too! Sorry Steph! Come on the Lionesses!

Steve Chamberlain, Loughborough

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White taps in after a wonderful move to give England a 2-0 lead

Ellen White was a pupil at The Grange, Aylesbury. I was her history teacher in Years 7 and 8. I recall her as a positive, keen and able student. She had immaculate handwriting, taking care over her work and I kept one of her exercise books for many years as an exemplar piece! She had a sporty group of friends and was, at that stage, playing for Arsenal juniors. I recall her as able, conscientious, polite, friendly and sporty, of course! She is now the same age as I was when I taught her! I can easily tell it's her; only she's bigger now! Ellen - we are proud of you!

Kathy Castle, Bournemouth

My daughter Amelia met with Ellen White while she was a Birmingham City player. She took part in a coaching session and Ellen was watching on. She later spoke to her, told her she had talent and gave some really positive advice which only inspired her further. Four years on and my daughter now plays for Wolverhampton Wanderers and always speaks about that moment with Ellen when she gave her the belief that girls could play football too.

Matt Lightfoot, Birmingham

My sister Nicola was good friends with Ellen White when they were at school. Ellen used to come to our house for dinner after school, and my sister would get annoyed because Ellen and I would end up playing football in the back garden while my sister sat there and watched! Ellen was probably seven or eight years old at the time. I'm four years older than her, but even at that age you could see how good she was - miles better than me!

Paul Rogan, Aylesbury

I remember going to watch my local team Aylesbury United at Buckingham Road. Pre-match entertainment was a kids' five-a-side and I saw there was a long-haired blonde girl playing. It was the first time I had seen a girl play football and thought stupidly "this will be funny". The girl in question wiped the floor with them all, scoring goals for fun and was by far the best player on the park. Turns out that girl was Ellen White. Ellen, Aylesbury is proud of you!

Chris Williams, Aylesbury

Karen Carney
Karen Carney is one of England's most experienced players

In 2009 my family went to the Women's European Championship in Finland for a 10-day holiday to support England. They faced Finland in the quarter-finals and we couldn't get tickets. I walked in to the England team hotel and left a note for the FA explaining our holiday and if they had any spare tickets. Later that evening I got a call saying we could possibly have two tickets but in fact they gave us four. England won and I think we were the only England fans who weren't family at the stadium. The FA invited us to dinner with the players and I remember the amazement on my girls' faces, as they sat with Karen Carney. The next day the FA offered us a lift on the coach back to Helsinki. They even offered us more tickets for the semi-final but we had to catch our flight in time for the girls to be back at school. We remain great fans of England and also saw them at Euro 2017 and went to Nice for the Japan game and try to get to as many home games as possible. A great group of women and amazing role models for today's generation.

Robert Cogings, Derby

Several years ago my girls' primary school football team were playing in a local schools tournament at St George's Park near to Burton. This team included several girls who had never played a competitive game in their lives. We were told that a couple of women from the Lionesses would be coming down for a five-minute photo shoot. This they duly did. One of the two was Karen Carney. The tournament organisers emphasised how very important and very busy the two Lionesses were. Not only did the ladies make a little speech and let everybody have their pictures taken with them but they stayed with my girls for TWO hours! Two years later, same scenario, Karen Carney again and once more she stayed with them for another two hours, encouraging and supporting my seven to 11-year-olds as they began their footballing careers. She was humble, enthusiastic and charming. What a role model, what an inspiration and, in a world of over-hyped, over-paid athletes, what a genuine hero. I have been a fan of women's football and the England Lionesses since then. She has never disappointed me and could never disappoint me. Karen, because of what you did for my girls, you are my hero.

Francis-Ray Jinks, Cannock Wood

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Women's FA Cup final: Keira Walsh gives Manchester City the lead over West Ham

My mum was Keira Walsh's teacher at primary school and was also her netball coach (she was my mum's star player). She was asked to write a reference for Keira to help get her into her preferred high school. In the letter, my mum said: "Keira will play for England, I don't know at what sport, but she will play for England." Turns out she was right!

Mike Giverin, Rochdale

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England get off to the perfect start thanks to Jill Scott's third-minute goal

At the 2017 Euros I was staying in the same hotel as the Lionesses. They thumped Scotland 6-0. When the England team returned to the hotel they found some very dejected Scottish supporters. The England players were all very gracious victors but Jill Scott stood out among them - she spoke with the young Scotland supporters, posed for pics and even brought out the match ball for them to be photographed with. What a lovely young woman. I will always support the Lionesses now (unless they are playing Scotland, of course).

Margot Miller, Edinburgh

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Women's World Cup: England's Leah Williamson reveals love for country music in MOTD Mix

My daughter (11 at the time) broke her wrist playing football for her grassroots team in April last year. As she also attended an Arsenal Under-12s weekly training programme, I informed the club she would be absent for a few weeks while she healed. Within 24 hours, we received a personalised video message recorded by Leah Williamson wishing my daughter a speedy recovery, reassuring her she'd soon be fine to play again; sharing a story of when she herself once broke her arm in a game. My daughter and I were absolutely blown away by the kindness and thoughtfulness of the gesture, and for Leah telling her she would bounce back very soon. Leah has been her footballing heroine ever since.

Phil Middleton, London

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You get a bit starstruck seeing Serena Williams- Rachel Daly

Watching coverage of one of France's group games, you interviewed Rachel Daly. I thought "she looks familiar". A quick Facebook and Google search later, I realised that a young Rachel Daly was in my school - Saltergate Juniors. She was a year below us but played alongside me up front for the school team! Playing boys a year older than her, Rachel definitely scored the lion's share of our goals. #ItsComingHome

Paul, Pontypridd

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