Harrogate hails returning hero Rachel Daly
May 14, 2023
Rachel Daly Killinghall Nomads
Rachel Daly at Killinghall Moor today

It’s difficult to think of a bigger star from Harrogate right now than England footballer Rachel Daly.

Daly was part of the England Lionesses team that won Euro 2020 last year and is this season’s Women’s Super League leading scorer.

She also has 328,000 followers on Instagram so it was little surprise hundreds of football fans gathered at Killinghall Moor this afternoon to greet her homecoming.

Daly was back where it all started — Killinghall Nomads Junior Football Club — to open the Nomads Daly Brew cafe named in her honour.

She arrived with friends and family, not to mention dog Dexy, shortly after midday to a chorus of ‘She’s Coming Home’ and after a few quick speeches and media interviews signed autographs non-stop for more than hour.

Rachel Daly Killinghall Nomads

Alongside her mural

Rachel Daly Killinghall Nomads

Many fans turned up wearing shirts bearing Daly’s name.

Sitting in the cafe bearing her name and mural, people queued with balls, shirts, boots and bits of paper for her to sign. Many wore England or Aston Villa Women shirts bearing the name ‘Daly’.

She obliged them all and flashed her megawatt smile for selfies until everyone had got a memento. Mum Louise, who still lives in Harrogate, looked like she would burst with pride.

Rachel Daly Killinghall Nomads

Some fans queued for over an hour to meet Daly.

Rachel Daly Killinghall Nomads

Posing with current Killinghall Nomads players

Daly played for Killinghall Nomads from under-eight to under-15 level before moving on. Her brother and father also represented the club. Dad Martyn, who died two years ago, set up the under-15 girls team.

This was her first trip to Harrogate since Christmas and the event provided a chance to catch-up with some old friends as well as fans.

She was impressed by the building’s transition to a cafe and humbled by the decision to name it in her honour. She said:

“I spent every waking second of the day on these pitches, hitting a ball against this wall so to be here today is a great honour.

“It’s always important to remember your roots. When I was last here it was a meeting room with just a kettle!”

Simon Walker, vice-chair of the club, told the crowd that Daly continued to inspire others, which was evident by the number of girls and boys who turned out.

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David Terzza, women and girls’ football lead at the club, said it now had about 150 females on its books.

He emphasised how much Daly had contributed to its growth by sponsoring kit, arranging for some of the junior players to watch the Lionesses train at the St George’s Park national football centre and taking part in a zoom question and answer with girls during covid.

She said:

“Nomads will always have a special place in my heart. If it wasn’t for this place, where I played on every blade of grass and broke every piece of fence, I wouldn’t be here today. It’s such an honour.”

Her classy display on the day ensured Daly will also have a special place in Harrogate’s heart too. Time for a statue?

Here are some more photos from today’s event.

Rachel Daly Killinghall Nomads

Rachel Daly Killinghall Nomads

Rachel Daly Killinghall Nomads