Lioness Lauren James's football-mad family

Lioness Lauren James, 21, sent off following ‘Beckhamesque’ foul against Nigeria, is the sister of Chelsea’s Reece James and was trained by UEFA-qualified coach father Nigel

  • The striker, 21, was sent off for stomping the back of rival player Michelle Alozie
  • READ MORE: England’s Lauren James, hailed by teammates as a secret weapon

Already dubbed the Lioness’s top golden girl, Lauren James has been the name on everyone’s lips after emerging as England’s leading goal scorer in the Women’s World Cup so far. 

Her show-stopping performance against China earlier this month saw England clinch a 6-1 Women’s World Cup win over their opponents, with the star striker contributing two goals.

However the 21-year-old forward and younger sister to Chelsea star Reece James, both originally from Mortlake in London, has made history today for a somewhat less magnificent act.

England’s sweetheart stunned fans when she was sent off for stamping on the back of rival player Michelle Alozie during England’s round 16 clash with Nigeria.

Following a VAR consultation, referee Melissa Borjas meted out a red card as punishment for the foul which reminded many fans of David Beckham’s sending off in a ‘moment of madness’ against Argentina in the 1998 World Cup. 

England striker Lauren James, 21, was sent off for an aggressive David Beckham-esque foul against Nigeria’s Michelle Alozie, 26, during today’s Women’s World Cup clash (both pictured)

Reece James, 23, of Chelsea, celebrates with the Champions League Trophy with his sister, Lauren James following victory in the UEFA Champions League Final between Manchester City and Chelsea FC at Estadio do Dragao on May 29, 2021 in Porto, Portugal

The aggressive act – which followed an on-pitch collision between Lauren and Nigeria’s 26-year-old defender Michelle – took place after both players crashed to the floor.

Lauren was first to her feet, before stamping on Michelle’s lower back – sending the Californian-born Nigerian international to make a plea to the referee from the floor.

The shocking foul prompted many to draw parallels with Beckham’s shameful sending off in the 1998 World Cup following his challenge on Diego Simeone in the last-16 tie, with Gary Lineker branding it a ‘Beckhamesque moment of madness’.

The gripping event is possibly to the dismay of her UEFA-qualified football coach father Nigel, 46, who once said seeing his girl play at international level was a ‘dream’.

Born Lauren Elizabeth James (pictured left), her love for football began when she was a young child and would play with her older brothers Joshua and Reece (pictured right).  The close pair pose as pre-schoolers

Lauren grew up playing alongside boys including Reece (pictured together) and her other brother, Joshua

‘Most parents would only dream to have one England international, never mind two’ he told The Mirror. ‘You just think, “wow”. 

‘I’ve seen her do things like that before. She has an unbelievable technique that she has worked on for many years, but when you see it at the World Cup, it’s amazing.’ 

Born Lauren Elizabeth James, her love for football began when she was a young child and would play with her older brothers Joshua and Reece outside their home in Mortlake, South West London. 

She has previously credited his coaching as the reason for her rise to the top, and has indicated that she wants to become a coach when she retires so she can influence younger players in the same way.

Guided by her dad throughout her earliest years playing football, she joined the team he ran and played with the boys for years.

Nigel, who is originally of Grenadian and Dominican descent, coached his children to footballing success even though he was forced out of a professional career aged 20, due to a motorcycling accident.

The setback ignited another avenue of triumph for the football-mad father, who went on to set up Nigel James Elite Coaching which his daughter Lauren and son Reece, 23, have both graduated from.

The star duo have exacted their father-taught skills at both international and club levels, as the siblings proudly represent Chelsea and England.

The pair spent most of their childhood playing football together and are so close that they say they are ‘best friends’.

Lauren comes from a football-mad family with her father Nigel (centre) coaching her and her brothers as children. Nigel, who is originally of Grenadian and Dominican descent, was forced out of a professional career aged 20, due to a motorcycling accident

England’s star striker Lauren James once revealed before the 2023 World Cup that she wanted to carve out a name for herself – and she has done just that

Reece, a right-back defender, has spent most of his career at Chelsea however he had a brief spell at Wigan Athletic in 2018 before making his senior Blues debut in 2019.

Lauren revealed to England’s official website that she has a strong relationship with older brother Reece.

‘From the outside, it is a bit like ‘wow’ [having a brother and sister both playing at the highest level], but from our point of view, it is difficult to take it in. We are just both on our own paths and looking to enjoy our football,’ she said.

‘Both of us are supportive of each other, where I will go to his games and he will go to my games when he can.

‘We kind of leave each other to it, though. Anything to do with football, we both know what we need to do, so we just leave the other one to it.

Lauren’s sour display has been compared to David Beckham’s (pictured left) moment of madness at the 1998 World Cup when the former Manchester United player snapped at Argentina’s Diego Simeon (pictured beside referee)

‘But outside of football, we have a great relationship and we are really close. I think with our age gap, that helps, with it only being two years.’

Reece revealed that he is happy that his sister is playing for the same country and club.

‘It is great [to both be playing for Chelsea and in contention for an England place],’ he said.

‘It is what I want to do and also what she wants to do. We both support Chelsea and I am happy for her.

‘She was obviously at Arsenal and Manchester United, so when she had the chance to come home, she wanted it and she is happy to be back home.’

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