Roaring success - Lioness Keira Walsh honoured with mural

Date published: 13 June 2024

A mural celebrating England and Barcelona football star Keira Walsh has been unveiled in her hometown of Rochdale.

The vibrant artwork, capturing Keira poised to kick the ball and jubilantly celebrating a goal in her England kit, now adorns the R-Kix Performance Centre on Smith Street, opposite Marks and Spencer. This striking tribute is perfectly placed, as the newly opened R-Kix offers football pitches, coaching, fitness, and other sporting facilities right in the heart of the town.

The mural has been installed by Rochdale Borough Council in partnership with her agency Rept Sports and Rochdale Development Agency (RDA).

Renowned Manchester-based street artist Katie Scott created the mural, with photos shared on social media soon after completion already racking up over 100,000 views and heaps of positive comments.

Katie said she had a great time painting the mural: “People have all been very welcoming, stopping for a chat as the work progressed. It's nice to know people of all ages are enjoying it and I'm very pleased to have played a part in celebrating Keira's story and hopefully inspiring the next generation of young girls.”

Keira Walsh, who helped guide her team to Euro 2022 glory and joined European giants Barcelona shortly after the tournament 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.

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

She has won numerous honours for club and country, including multiple Champions Leagues, English and Spanish league titles, the UEFA Women’s Championship in 2022 and is widely regarded as one of the finest midfielders of her generation. She was granted the freedom of the borough of Rochdale in 2022 and was until recently the most expensive female footballer in the world.

The mural was funded by the council’s Rochdale North Township Committee, supported by Rochdale’s Cultural Development Fund. It is part of ‘Rochdale Creates’ a new cross-sector initiative to drive and promote creative and cultural activity across the borough.

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