Peckham mum proud of daughter's career in Chelsea and England team
Ty Lloyd-Smith is mother to SportsAid Lexi, who currently represents both Chelsea Women U21s and England Women U17s having first been scouted by Arsenal Women at U11s level.
The early years of her footballing career was financially challenged, but Ty carried out methods of fundraising when Lexi first started out in the footballing world.
"We used to have to fundraise by baking cakes, painting kids’ faces, and selling chicken we fried on the barbecue," Ty, 45, said.
"It was fun times doing that fundraising but soon we received SportsAid support. Things got a lot easier financially – their funding just eliminated that anxiety and worry.
"The SportsAid money enabled us to buy sports equipment, helped with education, funded extra food and now pay for driving lessons, which isn’t sports related but will enable Lexi to get to her football and manage without me."
When Lexi first started playing for Southwark Cribbs FC, she experienced reluctance among the boys in her team. Lexi, now 17, often got emotional in the car on the way home after feeling out of place on the pitch as a young girl from South London.
"When she first started the boys didn’t pass to her and she would cry in the car on the way home, but I’d always tell her to keep going and that she could do it,” Ty Lloyd-Smith said.
She added, "But she ended up captaining that Southwark Cribbs team, and then an Arsenal scout came down to watch her and she got trials at 11. Football has directed Lexi’s life."
Lexi was on tour with her England age-group side before the outbreak of the COVID-19 and attracted first-team interest from Arsenal, West Ham United and Brighton & Hove Albion.
Ty said she will continue to support her daughter in every way she can, so Lexi can reach her full potential.
"I would never have imagined what Lexi has achieved and I am so proud of her every day – I’m so proud of how determined, loyal and committed she is," Ty ended.