England captain Leah Williamson has topped the 2023 edition of the BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour Power List, recognising her work both on and off the pitch.
Williamson led the Lionesses to Euro 2022 glory on home soil last summer – a first senior international trophy for a male or female England football team since 1966 – and will again lead the charge as they battle for the World Cup this coming summer.
After the triumph of the Euros, the Arsenal star took a central role alongside teammate Lotte Wubben-Moy in lobbying the UK government to provide equal access to sport in school for girls.
Their efforts, including an open letter signed by the whole Lionesses squad, resulted in the recent government pledge for girls and boys to be ‘offered the same sports during PE and extracurricular time in schools’, in addition to £600m of funding over the next two academic years.
Wubben-Moy herself ranks seventh on the Power List.
"I'm slightly taken aback by it but very appreciative,” Williamson said. "When we recognise women like this, it's great because it shows that next person [they can do it too] - 'if you can't see it, you can't be it', that's something I really love as a saying.
"It's the whole concept of shining a light on those that are already doing it so those aspiring to be in those positions can believe there is a place for them in that world."
Sport was chosen as the theme for this year’s Power List, with a number of women connected to football included in the top 30 alone.
Baroness Sue Campbell, the FA director of women’s football, placed second, with Helen Hardy, owner of a business selling women’s football merchandise and founder of inclusive football club Manchester Laces in fifth.
Wubben-Moy, as mentioned, is seventh, with reporter Fadumo Olow 20th, agent Jo Tongue 22nd, Lewes CEO Maggie Murphy 24th, and broadcaster and retired player Alex Scott 26th.