Published 01 March 2022 7 min read
Niamh Charles

20 questions with Niamh Charles

Written by:

Frank Smith

England and Chelsea’s rising star Niamh Charles answers a host of questions, with her love for family and the Wirral clear for all to see

1) What’s your earliest memory?
I was trying to think about this and I have memories where I’m not sure if I have them just because people have told me but I seem to remember them so vividly. The earliest I remember is football related. When I went to my first football session, I was just crying and didn’t want to go, so I was clinging on to my Dad’s leg. But it is one of those where I’m not sure if I actually remember it or because everyone has told me about it so much that is why I remember it.

2) If you could go back in time, would you? And where to?
I think I would. My Grandad died and he was a really sporty guy so I would like to get to know him and him to get to know me a bit more.  

3) What do you like most about yourself?
I’m hard working and determined. They are some of my main strengths.

4) What's you biggest achievement?
I actually think it is completing my degree full-time whilst still playing football full-time. Once I had finished it, I was like ‘O my word, that was a big achievement to do both of those at the same time’. It was tough. 
I did a degree in Sport and Exercise Science but I was never at uni because I was playing football all the time so when I got to the end of it, I appreciated fully how hard it was and I would never do it again! But I am glad I did it.

5) What’s your worst habit?
I’m sure the people around me could name a few! But I think mine might be either procrastinating – about anything – or staying up later than I should. I am definitely a night owl but that doesn’t work with life and having to get up early. 
I love being awake in the evening. That is just when I get my energy! I think when I was doing my degree, that was when I did my work and I was most efficient, because it was at night and everyone else was winding down but it was my time to put the work in.

Niamh Charles playing in the garden as a youngster
Niamh Charles playing in the garden as a youngster

6) What makes you most angry?
Nothing really makes me angry but things that irritate me are when people eat or drink really loudly in my ear. It doesn’t make me angry but if I have not had enough sleep it can really annoy me. The not getting enough sleep and that really complement each other!

7) Who is your biggest influence?
My family definitely. My brothers, sisters and parents. They helped shaped me into who I am and also supported me a lot.

8) How do you react under pressure?
In a team environment, I am all about trusting what you have done and looking around and trusting your team-mates. Getting together and being like ‘this is what we have worked for’. I really like being under pressure.

9) When do you do feel most at ease?
When I am at home with my family around me. It is just my safe space.

10) What do you dream about when you sleep?
I am not a massive dreamer but when I do, it is usually about people I have been with that day and it could be the most weirdest dream and I have woken up and I have to question whether it has happened or not. It doesn’t happen often but when it does, it is like owfft. It really makes you question it! 

11) Favourite phrase or word?
I think I go through phases of using different words but one which I have always said to my really close friends is ‘Be better. Every day is a chance to get better’. I used to just say it at them and I bet I used to annoy them! But I went through a stage of saying it a lot.

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12) What reminds you of home?
Where I come from, on the Wirral, there is the sea all around. Whenever there is water, it reminds me of home and it really calms me.

13) Are you superstitious about anything?
I am. It is weird little things which I do not have to do but I like the routine of doing it. For example before a game I will have a chewing gum and then halfway through the warm-up I will always get rid of it. Really weird stuff which develops over time.

14) What makes you cry?
Other people crying. Or a sad film. But when someone you really love starts crying, it really makes me cry.

15) One song that makes me feel good?
Foundations by Kate Nash. It is just a feel-good song.

16) Biggest obstacle?
Maybe the confidence and self-belief in myself. I don’t know what other people experience but for me, it is always there but you just have to work a lot on reminding yourself about it and working on the mental side of the game as well as the physical side of the game.

Niamh Charles playing with her boys' team back in the Wirral
Niamh Charles playing with her boys' team back in the Wirral

17) Favourite place in the world?
The Wirral, where I am from. Obviously my home but I love the Wirral as a whole and I think there is a lot to do there. My hometown is really near Liverpool, it is called Greasby. It is quite a secluded place and it has water on all three sides, so it is very picturesque.

18) Most valuable possession?
The football memorabilia I have or the pictures I have. These are not really possessions but those memories and memorabilia are things which you cannot really replace.

19) Worst fear?
Regrets. Someone said to me ‘is it not dying?’ but I think it is actually dying with regrets. No matter what it is, I do not want to have regrets.

20) How would you like to be remembered?
For all sorts of reasons, both on and off the pitch. I want to make an impact and maybe make a change but most importantly, I want to be remembered for being a good person. That would be the biggest one.