Hall of Fame

Welcome to the home of the greats

Kelly Smith

2021

Date of Birth

29/10/1978

Nationality

English

Position

Attacking Midfield

Kelly Smith is one of the world's most decorated and respected in the women's game. Widely regarded as one of greatest players to be produced in the country, Smith returned to the Barclays Women’s Super League in 2012 after a spell playing in the United States, but not before she had won multiple trophies with the Gunners before her departure to the US. The move home generated significant interest and Smith didn’t take long to pick up where she left off, by winning the league title and FA Women’s Continental Tyres League Cup in the first season of her return. She would also win the League Cup the following season in 2013. Smith played the final years of her career in the league, and while she suffered with some injuries, her quality and impact on the team was clear for all to see. She did leave her mark with an interesting claim – she currently holds the record as being the oldest player to score a Barclays WSL hat-trick – almost seven years older than the next player.

Emma Hayes

2021

Date of Birth

18/10/1976

Nationality

English

Position

Head Coach

Emma Hayes started her career in football as a player for Arsenal. Following an injury which ended her playing days early, Hayes began her coaching journey in the USA, as well as a stint as assistant coach at Arsenal, before she moved to Chelsea in 2012. Hayes has played a pivotal role in the growth of the Barclays WSL to the league it is now. Since joining the West London outfit almost ten years ago, Hayes has spearheaded her side to win four Barclays WSL titles, two FA Cups, two League Cups, the Community Shield, the Barclays WSL Spring Series and most recently, led her side to the UEFA Women’s Champions League Final in 2021. 

  Hayes’ achievements were recognised in 2016 when she was awarded an MBE for her Services to Football. The Chelsea head coach cemented her status as one of the most respected coaches in the game after receiving widespread praise for her analysis during Euro 2020 as a member of the commentary team for ITV.

Rachel Yankey

2021

Date of Birth

01/11/1979

Nationality

English

Position

Winger

Rachel Yankey’s career with Arsenal is one that few can rival, having won multiple trophies during her time with the Gunners, which continued into the Barclays Women’s Super League era. Yankey was part of the Arsenal squad that won the first two Barclays Women’s Super League titles in 2011 and 2012, and played a starring role in the 2011 Continental Tyres League Cup Final with a double in a 4-1 win over Birmingham City. The first Barclays WSL campaign saw the Arsenal winger create more chances than any other player. Yankey and her Arsenal side would go onto win the next two League Cup titles in 2012 and 2013. It was in 2013 that the left-winger was recognised for her contribution to football, when she was awarded an OBE. Yankey’s ten goals in the Barclays WSL were all scored with her left-foot. Only current Gunner Katie McCabe has more goals that have all been scored with the same foot (11). Her five years in the Barclays WSL also saw a brief loan spell with Notts County before her retirement at the end of 2016.

Fara Williams

2021

Date of Birth

25/01/1984

Nationality

English

Position

Attacking Midfield

Currently England’s most capped player, Fara Williams is known for her incredible long- range strikes and her technical ability in midfield. She has become one of the greatest ever Barclays WSL players and is regarded as one of the finest players to be produced in this country. A consistent goal-scorer and set piece specialist, Williams was awarded an MBE in 2016 and announced her retirement from professional football in April 2021 after a long and illustrious career.

  She began her career at Chelsea before spells at Charlton, Everton, Liverpool, and Arsenal before finishing her Barclays WSL career at Reading. During her career she won the Premier League Cup, The Women’s Cup, and the league title twice in 2013 and 2014 with Liverpool. She won Charlton's Player of the Year and the FA Women's Young Player of the Year in her first season, 2001–02. In 2008–09 Williams' performances saw her voted FA Players' Player of the Year, highlighting the impact she had on other players in the league.