HOMEGROWN Lioness, Ella Toone, has been recognised with a prestigious Believe Star outside Leigh Town Hall.

Born close by in Tyldesley, the trailblazing footballer has gone on to achieve international acclaim, including scoring a goal in the final of the European Championship at Wembley in 2022 where England were victorious by beating Germany 2-1to lift the trophy.

Ella, who has played for Manchester United Women team since 2018 and recently won the Women’s FA Cup for the first time, scoring a fantastic goal at Wembley, said: “This is a brilliant moment for me and my family.

"I never once thought I’d be recognised in this way in my home borough, but I’m really proud to be here today.

Ella celebrates the honour with family and friendsElla celebrates the honour with family and friends (Image: Wigan Council)

“Women’s football is massive for giving girls and boys equal opportunities, and I’m happy to be part of a team leading the way and breaking down barriers for everyone to get involved in playing football.”

Believe Stars have been awarded to notable community and sporting heroes hailing from the Wigan Borough since 2012, with two sites including on Believe Square, Wigan, and on Civic Square, Leigh.

Ella’s star was announced on International Women’s Day, along with Olympian Keely Hodgkinson’s which was presented earlier this year.

(Image: Wigan Council)

In a statement, Wigan Council’s chief executive, Alison McKenzie-Folan, said: “Ella has already had some amazing successes throughout her career, and we can’t wait to what else she achieves.

“She is a great role model for young girls and boys in our town and Leigh was proud to host some of the Euro 2022 games, with Dutch fans turning the town into a sea of orange during one parade.

“It’s brilliant that Ella can achieve her dreams so close to home, with Leigh Sports Village being home to Manchester United Women.

“We’re so proud to call Ella one of our own.”

Ella Toone’s star event was held in the borough’s 50th anniversary year.

To find out more about the history of Wigan Borough, please visit: wigan.gov.uk/WiganBorough50