England and Arsenal star Beth Mead has revealed that the best season of her career, which culminated in Euro 2022 glory, was driven on behind the scenes by the worst year of her personal life following her mum’s cancer diagnosis.
Around the time that Mead was left out of the Great Britain squad for the Olympics in the summer of 2021, the family received the most awful news.
With the realisation surrounding her mum's health, Mead began to look at things with a fresh perspective. No longer was she prepared to waste time worrying about things that, in her own words, are ‘not worth worrying about’.
On the pitch, she fought back in incredible fashion, starting last season with a stunning performance in an Arsenal win over Chelsea on the WSL’s opening weekend. She then carried that form all the way through to the summer and was scooped both the player of the tournament award and golden boot at Euro 2022, in addition to the overall trophy as well.
“It’s funny what people think they know. ‘Beth must be great, she must be high and everything’. This season was my best season on a football pitch individually, but actually the worst season ever off the football pitch personally,” Mead said as she opened up to i.
The 27-year-old, who previously said to The Times, ‘I’m my mum’s daughter’, went on to explain how the diagnosis made her determined to make June proud.
“My motivation was my mum,” Mead said. “My mum was incredible for me: she was more of a rock than me, my dad and my brother, and she’s the one going through it. I wanted to make her proud. I wanted to make her happy.
“It’s trying to make the best out of a bad situation. Life is never straightforward. Someone’s always got something going on that you don’t know about behind closed doors. I know I’m not the only person in the world with this going on. You can deal with the situation how you want, and for me that’s how I approached it.”