The teenage Chelsea defender, on loan at Bristol City, opens up on the moment that changed her life and her aim to captain England

“Both my legs kind of went numb, and I just couldn’t really walk on them,” says Brooke Aspin, one of England’s most promising young footballers. She is recalling just one of many harrowing moments she experienced last year when what initially appeared to be a muscle pull in her groin drastically worsened.

In August 2022, Aspin had gone to support her team, Bristol City, for their first game of the Championship season against Coventry. It was, she says, “one of the worst decisions”. She was sick during the bus journey. At Coventry’s ground, she had to use crutches to climb the steps. “It took me about 20 minutes to get up there,” she says. “But, yeah – and then that was a bit of a traumatic time.” After she got home, Aspin’s mum took her to hospital. What happened next was beyond what Aspin, or anyone else around her, had imagined.

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