England ace Millie Bright had childhood illnesses that left her in an ambulance

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England skipper Millie Bright had to cope with several debilitating illnesses as a child, which left her needing an ambulance on a weekly basis. Bright has been one of England’s best performers at the Women’s World Cup and will be expected to deliver a captain’s performance in Sunday’s final against Spain.

It has not always been plain sailing for the 29-year-old, who dealt with many health problems in her childhood after suffering from pneumonia as a baby. She was hit with the disease at just eight days old and continued to experience whooping cough and asthma attacks while she was growing up.

Bright told the Daily Mail back in 2018 that she was often forced to call emergency services in the dead of night, saying: “It was really quite bad. Eventually I had a steroid machine at home to help me but before I was old enough for that I had to get an ambulance whenever I was having an attack in the night. That would happen several times a week.

“Getting older, my asthma has settled down a little bit now, but back then I just had to decide whether I would let it stop me playing or not. I managed it well, my mum is experienced in it as well so she helped me through it.

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“My mum has got it, my dad too. My nan had emphysema, she died from that and my dad’s got it now. Breathing conditions run in the family so we do understand it. It was one of those things that I was not going to let interfere with what I’m doing.”

Bright successfully managed to channel her setbacks into extra motivation, with her football career going from strength to strength in recent years. She was a crucial member of the England side that won the Euros last year and is a six-time WSL champion with Chelsea at club level.

It remains to be seen if Bright will be able to add the Women’s World Cup to her growing honours list on Sunday, with the Chesterfield native hoping that England’s collective mentality will power them to victory against Spain.

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“I’ve said it a million times and I’ll continue saying it, the mentality of this group is something I’ve never seen before,” she said after the Lionesses’ historic semi-final win over Australia.

“That comes from Sarina [Wiegman] with the belief that she gives us within ourselves. We can play many different ways and that’s the beauty of this squad. Whatever an opponent throws at us, we adapt and find a way to win. I’m really proud of the girls.

“I’m just keeping two feet on the ground, I’ll remain on task and remain focused but I don’t even have any words for that. Just to say that we’re going to the final is crazy, overwhelming and so many different emotions. I’m so happy we could give the fans the dream they wanted back home, the fans that were here as well.”

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