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Excitement builds for women's World Cup

LEGENDS: Kelly Smith, left, and Rachel Yankey recently welcomed the FIFA Women’s World Cup trophy to Brighton

ENGLAND LEGENDS Kelly Smith and Rachel Yankey were on hand to welcome the official FIFA Women’s World Cup Trophy Tour to Brighton.

The most coveted prize in women’s football is travelling across the globe visiting all 24 countries that will compete in the final tournament, which runs from June 7 – July 7.

It set off from Paris on February 24 and a recent stop was at Brighton’s historic Royal Pavilion on April 23.

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Coinciding with St George’s Day, Brighton was chosen to welcome the trophy as the city will play host to the Lionesses’ World Cup send-off match against New Zealand on Saturday, June 1.

England head coach, Phil Neville, said: “Excitement for the World Cup is definitely growing the closer we get to the finals. I can’t wait to bring the squad to Brighton for our send-off game before we head to France. We know we will get brilliant support from fans in the area and my players will be determined to put on a great show in our farewell match. Thank you in advance to everyone who has bought tickets to see us play.”

Yankey is one of the nation’s greatest ever players. While amassing 129 caps and 19 goals for England, with Arsenal she won six league titles, nine FA Women’s Cups and helped the London club to the European title in 2006/07.

She represented England at the 2007 and 2011 World Cups, scoring in the latter as the Lionesses reached the quarterfinals and was also part of the 2012 Team GB squad at the London Olympics. Since retiring, she became first-team manager at London Bees.

Tickets for England v New Zealand on June 1 are still available at just £1 for children and £10 for adults. For more information, visit thefa.com/Lionessestickets.

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