After the season, forward Kirby will depart from Chelsea

THE GETTY IMAGES 
Photographic notes: Fran Kirby’s Chelsea contract expires at the end of the current campaign.

Following a nine-year tenure with the Super League winners, England striker Fran Kirby will depart Chelsea at the end of the current campaign when his contract ends.

Kirby, 30, has 115 goals in 205 games, making him the club’s greatest goalscorer in the modern era.

Since moving to Reading in 2015, she has assisted Chelsea in winning 15 trophies, including two League Cups, five FA Cups, and six Women’s Super League crowns.

In an emotional video message to fans, Kirby stated, “Coming out wearing the trophies I’ve won, alongside my fellow athletes – some of the top players in the world – has been among the most amazing experiences of my life.”

My job involves winning football games and prizes. It will be sufficient for me if I can do that and encourage young females to pursue careers in football or other sports.”

“I never thought I could make much of an impact on it when I was younger. I’m so quite happy of my ability to have such a great influence, and I’m especially glad of doing it at a team like Chelsea.”

After contributing significantly to England’s third-place result at the 2015 World Cup in Canada, Kirby has joined Emma Hayes’ Chelsea team.

In 70 games for England, he scores 19 goals and goes on to win several club and individual awards.

She was the first-ever Women’s Football Player of the Year winner from the Football Writers Association for the 2017–18 campaign.

After scoring 25 goals in all competitions, Kirby also won the PFA Player of the Match award, the Women’s Player of the Year award, and the Chelsea Player of the Year title that year.

In the 2020–21 season, he won club, WSL, and PFA crowns once more. He also played a part in the England team that won the 2022 European Championship at Wembley.

Kirby led Chelsea to a fourth straight WSL title and a third consecutive FA Cup last year with nine goals in 16 games. However, a knee injury terminated the season in May, preventing Kirby from competing in the 2023 Women’s World Cup in Australia.

“The assistance I’ve received is unmatched.”

In addition to recovering from a potentially fatal knee injury, Kirby has struggled with health issues while playing for Chelsea.

He acknowledged in 2020 that, following his diagnosis of pericarditis—a fluid-filled sac accumulating around the heart—he was thinking about giving up football.

She has also freely discussed the effects of cyberbullying and body image.

It’s incredible; I can look back and say that during my time as a Chelsea player, I experienced some of the best and worst times of my life. not only in my football game.

When I’ve experienced anything similar, I’ve always sought to bounce back in a way that inspires pride in others. They understand that I always get back up and strive to fight for my teammates no matter what.

“I have never received better support than I have.” I made friends for life during the time I was unwell and injured. I’ll always remember that throughout those difficult days, I constantly was reassured and loved.

Kirby’s contract expiration at Chelsea and Hayes’ decision to resign as manager occur at the same time.

At the completion of the current campaign, Hayes revealed in November that she will take over as head coach of the US Women’s National Team.

The team had the opportunity to clinch a record four at that point, but they have since lost to Arsenal in the League Cup final and been eliminated in the last four of the FA Cup and Champions League.

Even though they still had one game remaining and were just three games behind leaders Manchester City, Hayes’ loss to Liverpool earned them six points and the WSL championship.

Kirby is a “true Chelsea legend,” according to Chelsea captain and England teammate Millie Bright, even if she might not win a fifth straight WSL championship.

“You’re wearing a nice shirt as you leave the club. Go shine, girl. We’ll miss you,” Bright said to X.

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