Mural of lioness Keira Walsh to recognise Rochdale’s England hero

Date published: 26 March 2024

A mural celebrating Rochdale-born England midfielder Keira Walsh has been commissioned by Rochdale Borough Council, in partnership with her agency Rept Sports, and will be unveiled in her hometown later this year.

The 26 year old, who helped guide her team to Euro 2022 glory, will be painted onto a wall at the R-Kix Performance Centre on Smith Street, opposite the Rochdale Riverside retail and leisure development. R-Kix provides football pitches, coaching, fitness and other sporting facilities in the town centre.

Renowned Manchester based street artist Katie Scott has been tasked with creating the artwork, with work to be undertaken this spring.

Keira, who joined European giants Barcelona in 2022 was named official player of the match in the historic Euro 2022 final. Since that move she has won La Liga, the Supercopa, the Champions League – and lifted the first women’s Finalissima trophy with England.

Brought up in Rochdale and a former pupil at Healey Primary School, Keira first played football with her dad on a field opposite her house on Syke Common, later joining Pearson Juniors in her hometown before being signed by Blackburn Rovers.

Council leader Neil Emmott described Keira as “an amazing ambassador for women in sport.”

Councillor Ali Ahmed, chair of Rochdale North Township who are funding the mural, said: “Keira has inspired a generation and we are so proud of her success. She is one of Rochdale’s shining stars and to be able to honour her with a permanent mural in the centre of her hometown is fantastic.”

The mural of Keira follows on from her being awarded the freedom of the borough in 2022, the highest honour a council can bestow.

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