Australia star Sam Kerr sheds light on hiding gender as England Women's World Cup clash looms

Australia Sam Kerr England Womens World Cup

Australia star Sam Kerr has revealed she used to hide her gender ahead of England Women's World Cup clash

Jack Otway

By Jack Otway

Published: 14/08/2023

- 15:39

The Matildas star is expected to feature in Wednesday's semi-final showdown

Australia star Sam Kerr has opened up hiding her gender as a youngster in order to play football.

The 29-year-old will be out to wound England and end their Women's World Cup dream when the two nations lock horns on Wednesday.

In a new book named My Journey to the World Cup, the Chelsea striker reveals she used to crop her hair short and pretend she was a boy.

This was so she could play as a junior.

Sam Kerr Australia

Sam Kerr will be out to shine for Australia against England at the Women's World Cup


"I knew I'd be the only girl on the team but that didn't worry me at all," stated the Australia star.

"I didn't want them to treat me any differently just because I was a girl.

"I remember one of the boys crying when he found out."

Eventually, however, the physicality of her opponents took its toll. And Kerr was forced to come clean and quit as a result.

"As good as I was out on the field, and as much as I loved playing the game, the physical differences between the guys and me eventually became too pronounced and the play was too rough," she continued.

"One day, I came home from a game with yet another black eye and bloody lip, and that's when my dad and brother both said, 'Nup, this isn't happening anymore'.

"I was getting battered around so much out on the field that it was getting to be a big problem.

"Dad and my coach both sat me down then and said it was getting far too dangerous for me to continue to play.

"They said they were sorry, but that I wasn't allowed to play football any more.

"I understood the reasons why, but I was heartbroken.

"Back then, there were no girls' teams in my area for me to join, and to know that I'd never play a sport that I loved so much ever again was devastating."

Kerr has had some injury issues at this year's tournament.

The Australia star has suffered with a calf problem but has come off the bench in recent matches against Denmark and France.

And Kerr has now warned England she's fully fit again and eager to steer her side to the final.

“With everything that’s been going on, the best thing for [the France game] was the plan we made and the one we followed," she said.

“When I hurt my calf, the plan was always to be ready for a semi-final, the final.

“So, I could have [started against France], but who knows what could have happened?

"The girls have been smashing it and absolutely dominating.

“I was ready to go, but we’ve had a plan this whole tournament and we just had to stick to it.

"That was part of the plan, to get 20 minutes against Denmark [in the last 16] to make me feel better for this game and now with another, what, 65 minutes, I feel better for it and I’ll have more training under my belt. So, I feel ready to go.”


Sam Kerr Australia England

Sam Kerr is now fully fit for Australia as England Women's World Cup clash looms


Kerr added: “I just had to regain that focus that I probably haven’t had the last two weeks because I haven’t been playing as much, and think of what my role is really for.

“I’m so grateful that I was able to be here and come back.

“I knew that I would come back on the pitch, because I would have played with one calf if I had to, but I think the plan has gone pretty well.”

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