Fran Kirby bursts into tears and is consoled by England manager Phil Neville and team-mates on 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 eleventh 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, 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, during which manager Phil Neville consoled Kirby.
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Fran Kirby burst into tears as the emotion got the better of her following England’s victory
Team-mate quickly came to comfort Kirby as the significance of the day had its impact
Playing position: Forward
England debut: August 3, 2014
England caps: 41
England goals: 12
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 mother.
‘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 paid tribute to 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, as Alex Greenwood picked out Jodie Taylor with a pinpoint pass across the goalmouth for 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.
The final fixture of the group stages, with Japan, will determine which side progresses in first place.
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