This week we welcome our third guest writer to the blog in Reading Women’s midfielder Remi Allen, who describes her biggest inspirations not just in her footballing career, but her entire life.
When asked to write a piece on what inspires me, I will admit I had to sit down and have a good soul search.
I thought of all the famous inspiring celebrities out there, the amazing women I train with each day, the numerous coaches who have helped get me to where I am now.
However there are four people who I can say deep down are my reasons, my inspirations and the big part of me that still has that burning desire to succeed. They are my three younger sisters and my Grandad.
I wouldn’t have the football career I have today if it wasn’t for my Grandad. He was the one real male figure I had in my life and one of the few constants as well.
His support for my football was second to none – wherever I needed to go he would take me. I have fond memories of trips to strength and conditioning sessions that were based in Nottingham. We lived in Leicester so it would mean a journey on the motorway, which my Grandad wasn’t fond of, but we would get there come rain or shine. Granted we would probably be an hour late, but he would get me there.
Then there were the 7:30am trips to Loughborough for a session and despite the early starts, there he would be in his car waiting for me.
At 18 I ruptured my ACL and he took me to every physio appointment, every rehab session and fully supported me on my road to recovery.
These are trips that now, when I think back, I will cherish forever because I realise not only was he helping me realise my dream of being a professional footballer, he was also helping me become a better person too.
My Grandad passed away in the last year. When I enter his room there is a cabinet full of my England caps, trophies and medals. There are pictures of me playing on his wall and scrapbooks full of my accomplishments dating back to when I was five.
He was forever telling people about my football and I would have a phone call waiting for me every Sunday evening to find out how I’d got on in my game. He was by far my biggest fan.
Every time I score a goal or we have a great win I now think how much I would love to share that with him but I know deep down he’s watching.
So even though he’s no longer here with us he inspires me – I still want to be better, to play well and score goals so he can be watching down and continue to be proud.
One big goal of mine is to win a major trophy and add a winners medal to his cabinet.
Me and my three younger sisters are very close still to this day.
We had a difficult childhood that actually with hindsight has made us even stronger and brought us closer together.
Growing up wasn’t easy and I felt a huge responsibility to look after and protect my sisters from things. It wasn’t easy but it became a natural part of my life.
Whilst doing this it became clear to me how much I wanted to be the best role model I could for them; I wanted them to see how you can follow your dreams and how important it is to work hard and never give up.
Two of them played football as well so I wanted them to enjoy the sport too and reap the rewards it had given me.
I didn’t actually realise it being so young myself but they were actually driving me on, inspiring me to be the best possible version of myself and to keep pushing hard to be the best footballer I could be.
If they could see me do that, then why couldn’t they follow their dreams?
Even though we’re now all older I still play a role in looking after them and being there for them it’s something that I will always want to do.
They are all currently enjoying life and achieving great things and I am so proud of that.
They call me their role model and their hero. There is nothing more inspiring than hearing that.
To this day they push me to be better and to want more from my career, so that is what I will continue to do.
I will always have three younger Allens watching me and this really inspires me.
Roll on the rest of my career.