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Alex Scott: The girl who dreamed of playing at Wembley and won a legion of fans at Strictly


She took off her soccer shoes and swapped the field for the ballroom. Now Alex Scott is about to add another string to her bow while she takes the helm of a matter of sport.

After days of speculation, the 35-year-old English player turned expert was confirmed as Sue Barker's successor on the long-running BBC sports show.

Former Strictly nominee Scott, who once announced he was exposed to rape and acid attacks, will take office next year after 64-year-old Barker was sacked after 24 years along with team captains Matt Dawson and Phil Tufnell.

The move will be Scott's biggest ever presentation appearance after embarking on a successful career as an expert on Sky Sports and the BBC.

The former Arsenal right-back, who was raised by her single mother on an estate in Poplar, east London, was taken over by the London club when she was just eight.

As a teenager, she worked in the Arsenal laundry room to earn extra cash before moving to captain the women's team and leading them to an FA Cup victory.

She said it "drives me crazy" when young girls greet her as inspiration.

Speaking last year, she said that as a kid she had no female soccer players to look up to, and instead idolized her mother, Carol McKee, and Arsenal legend Ian Wright.

Scott founded an academy for young female footballers and ended her career as the second highest English player with 140 appearances. She was awarded an MBE in 2017.

But it wasn't all easy to sail. After reporting on the 2018 Men's World Cup in Russia for the BBC, Scott was abused online, turned to alcohol, and underwent therapy to deal with the trolling.

But the retired lioness will brave the critics when she takes the post next year.

Alex Scott has been confirmed to replace Sue Barker in A Question Of Sport

Career: Alex previously played for England and Arsenal before becoming a successful television presenter (pictured in 2017).

Confirmed: Alex & # 39; star has risen even more since she joined Strictly in 2019

From the pitch to the ballroom: Alex played for England and Arsenal before becoming a successful television presenter (left in 2017). Right, on Strictly last year

Alex and Neil were eliminated from Strictly in Week 11, and the female soccer player on the show saw them dancing next to Kevin Clifton for two weeks after her dance partner temporarily dropped out due to an injury

Alex and Neil were eliminated from Strictly in Week 11, and the female soccer player on the show saw them dancing next to Kevin Clifton for two weeks after her dance partner temporarily dropped out due to an injury

Star in the making: The former Arsenal right-back, who was raised by her single mother on an estate in Poplar, east London, was taken over by the London club when she was only eight years old

Star in the making: The former Arsenal right-back, who was raised by her single mother on an estate in Poplar, east London, was taken over by the London club when she was just eight

Tea in the Kremlin: The 35-year-old next to Rio Ferdinand (right) with Vladimir Putin (center) is enjoying 2018

Tea in the Kremlin: The 35-year-old next to Rio Ferdinand (right) with Vladimir Putin (center) is enjoying 2018

After days of speculation, the 35-year-old English expert-turned player (pictured at the 2017 UEFA Women's Euro) was confirmed as Sue Barker's successor on the long-running BBC sports show

After days of speculation, the 35-year-old English expert-turned player (pictured at the 2017 UEFA Women's Euro) was confirmed as Sue Barker's successor on the long-running BBC sports show

Family: Alex, pictured with her mother Carol in March 2019, is of Irish and Jamaican descent

Family: Alex, pictured with her mother Carol in March 2019, is of Irish and Jamaican descent

Scott played her last game in 2018 and ended her career as the second best English player with 140 appearances in three world championships. She was awarded an MBE in 2017 - pictured here with her mother

Scott played her last game in 2018 and ended her career as the second best English player with 140 appearances in three world championships. She was awarded an MBE in 2017 – pictured here with her mother

In a 2018 interview with the Guardian, Scott, who was born to parents of Jamaican and Irish descent, explained the abuse she has faced.

She said, "The comments were like," I know where you live. I'll come and throw acid in your face. I will rape you. & # 39; & # 39;

While saying that she learned to ignore the comments, she says that it is hard to upset my mom.

In 2008 Scott joined Boston Breakers for two years before returning to Arsenal and captaining their team to an FA Cup victory.

In 2011 she founded the Alex Scott Academy for female soccer players between the ages of 16 and 19.

The former Arsenal right-back was taken over by the London club when he was just 8 years old

The former Arsenal right-back was taken over by the London club when he was just 8 years old

She played her last game in 2018 and ended her career as the second best English player with 140 appearances in three world championships.

Touching the growing popularity of women's football, she told The Sun on Sunday, “I love the fact that girls are now more visible. Not just across sports, in all industries. & # 39;

Talk to hello! Alex told the magazine that she was single and happy when she denied rumors that she and her partner Neil Jones were in a romance.

She added, “I'm single, but it's not that I have to find anyone. I like it when things happen organically and when someone comes into my life and we get along, it's great. It's not that I have to look for it. & # 39;

She said she and Neil shared a "bond," but Scott confirmed that she "emerged from a long-term relationship" just before moving on strictly.

The duo were eliminated by Strictly in week 11.

After Scott rose to the top of their football game, he became the first female expert on the men's Premier League games at Sky Sports.

In 2018 she traveled to Russia with Rio Ferdinand to meet Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin.

The couple and a number of other "world football legends" – including Peter Schmeichel and Lothar Matthäus – enjoyed tea and cake with the Russian President before they gave him a football shirt decorated with his name.

Speaking in 2019, she made it clear her ambition to appear on prime-time TV when she said she would be more than happy to "put my name in the hat" should Gary Lineker decide he has "enough" to play the match of the day.

But Scott said her on-screen presence in a traditionally male-dominated profession sparked horrific abuse that began while she was still playing.

Scott shared this adorable photo on Instagram, joking, "Seems like I got my soccer skills from my mom. Thank goodness I didn't pick up on this fashion."

Scott shared this adorable photo on Instagram, joking, "Seems like I got my footballing skills from my mom. Thank god I didn't pick up on this fashion."

The star was close to her late grandmother, whom she "heard for hours about her childhood in Jamaica".

The star was close to her late grandmother, whom she "heard for hours about her childhood in Jamaica".

Scott titled this snapshot: “Yes

Scott titled this snapshot: “Yes

Speaking to Watford captain Troy Deeney as part of the heads-up mental health campaign, the star revealed how far online trolling had affected her.

"When I retired and got trolled, I found that I turned to drink, to try to hide, to hide, anything I was feeling," she said.

“I didn't tell anyone, I didn't tell my mother because I didn't want her to worry or bother her like that. I was just that person (who thought) "I can take care of myself, I can handle things", but obviously that's the wrong way to go sometimes.

"I came to a dark place and it was over Christmas. Then I said," I can't go on like this, it's not me, I have to seek help. "That led me to therapy.

“I want to remove this stigma. Now when I talk about mental health I immediately smile because I know what I did to get out of this place. I am happy.

"I'm happy and used the tools I learned to be in this place."

Speaking to Sunday Mirror last year, she said, “I've had it all – for being a woman on TV, being a woman in color on TV, for ticking boxes, death threats.

& # 39; I had the lot. But I'm still standing. The whole time I thought, "No, I'm good at my job." That's why I graduated so that no one can say I'm only there because I'm a tick in a box. & # 39;

After her stint at Strictly, Scott announced that she was undergoing therapy to deal with the abuse and told the Sun, “I would say I'm still on a journey. I'm still in therapy so I'm still learning to communicate more with my emotions. & # 39;

Changes: Sue, 64, was removed from the BBC show along with team captains Matt Dawson (left) and Phil Tufnell (right).

Changes: Sue, 64, was removed from the BBC show along with team captains Matt Dawson (left) and Phil Tufnell (right).

Scott guest-starred twice on A Question Of Sport, once in November 2016.

During the episode, she appeared alongside Olympic gold medalist James Cracknell, English cricketer Mark Wood and Scottish rugby star Stuart Hogg.

During her athletic career, Scott represented Great Britain at the 2012 Olympic Games in London and was awarded an MBE in 2016. He also scored 12 goals for England.

After retiring from football in 2017, she became the first female expert on Sky Sport's Super Sunday Show.

Scott has a lot of experience presenting as she also co-hosted the Match of the Day Kickabout from CBBC and the women's football show from BBC One.

Last year she performed on Strictly Come Dancing and was partner of professional dancer Neil Jones.

On the screen: Alex was seen on A Question Of Sport alongside Scottish rugby star Stuart Hogg in 2016 (pictured during the show).

On screen: Alex was featured in A Question Of Sport with Scottish rugby star Stuart Hogg (pictured during the show) back in 2016.

Gary Lineker, 59, announced the news on Thursday on Twitter, but was charged with "luring" when he wrote, "Congratulations and good luck to @AlexScott for being the new host for Question Of Sport.

& # 39; Smart, competent and perfectly qualified for the role. Oh … and if you have a problem with Alex getting the job, maybe you are just part of the problem. & # 39;

A source told The Sun that Alex was "in line" as Sue's replacement because of her athletic knowledge and experience.

They said, & # 39; Like Sue, she's a former athlete and she's also had five years of broadcasting.

“It has nothing to do with gender, and it's not about the BBC trying to wake you up.

The source also explained how Alex had impressed BBC bosses when she appeared on the show in the past.

It comes after Barker, who will continue to be the face of the Wimbledon company, shares of her sadness of leaving the show after 24 years.

She said the BBC had to remove her from A Question Of Sport as she would never have voluntarily left her dream job.

She told Sportsmail on Sunday: "I love the show so much that they would have to move me, it would have been difficult for me to go.

"I absolutely loved my 24 years of experience with A Question Of Sport, it was my dream job," she said.

"But I understand that the BBC wants to steer the show in a new direction and I'm sad to say goodbye."

Barker will continue to present assignments for the next two summers at Wimbledon after signing a three-year deal last year.

Sportsmail believes it signed a new three-year deal last year to enforce it until at least 2022, which will be a relief for many viewers.

The decision to destroy Barker sparked anger among critics who accused the BBC of ageism, including former BBC radio and TV presenter Wendy Austin, who tweeted, "No ageism / sexism on the BBC back then …

Ex-news anchor Jennie Bond told GMB: "Sue will be injured this morning. There is nothing you can do about your age and television is under pressure, especially for women, to look younger. & # 39;

Ex-Tottenham and England midfielder Jermaine Jenas are also said to be in the running to become one of the new team captains.

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