Every footballer hopes to leave a small mark on the game before they hang up their boots, but not many of them have made as big an impact as Kelly Smith.

The striker netted more than 100 times for Arsenal Ladies across her three spells in north London, and is also England’s record goalscorer with 46 goals from 117 appearances.

After announcing her retirement on Wednesday, Smith will now work in a full-time coaching role, and Pedro Martinez Losa believes her experience will help to inspire the next generation.

“Of all the people I have worked with in my eight years coaching in women’s football, she has had the most influence on me,” Losa said. “Every player in the last 20 years has been influenced by Kelly at some point, especially Arsenal players.

“She has a fantastic career to celebrate. It is a shame we can’t see her playing more football because every day she was either training or the pitch with us was a privilege.

“What we want is to keep Kelly close to us at the club,” he added. “With her performances, we could mention thousands of remarkable moments. She has scored from 60 yards, she has scored in the FA Cup final.

“She is a legend and we have been lucky to work with her. Internationally, she has been a reference for most of the Spanish players I have coached and she was popular around the world.

“At some moments in her career she has been the best player in the world – no question. When I coached in America, her popularity was obvious, with every player and every coach.”

With thanks to Tom Garry and BBC Sport.

 

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Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source
Max Jones 11 Jan 2017