Williams at home on the World Cup pitch

Fri Jun 26, 2015 10:43pm EDT
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By Steve Keating

VANCOUVER (Reuters) - Down on Hastings Street they are unaware that the Women's World Cup is being played just a few kilometers away and know nothing of England's Fara Williams.

But for the those living rough on Vancouver's skid row, Williams could be an inspiration, the English midfielder having once been one of them.

Homeless for six years while she chased her soccer dream, Williams will run out onto the BC Place Stadium pitch in front of a capacity crowd of close to 55,000 for a quarter-final clash with Canada on Saturday.

"I never thought it could happen," Williams told Reuters about playing in front of such a massive crowd. "As I have progressed through the women's game I've seen the change in it, the development.

"I guess it is one of those moments you dream of but the realism of it is a little bit different.

"You have to embrace it and take in what is in front of you.

"All players have dreamt of these moments playing against the home nation in front of 55,000. These are the moments you train for over the years you aspire to be involved in."

The dream may not be unique but Williams's path to soccer's biggest stage is not one well-travelled.   Continued...

Jun 22, 2015; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; England midfielder  Fara Williams (4) kicks the ball against the Norway during the first half in the round of sixteen in the FIFA 2015 women's World Cup soccer tournament at Lansdowne Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports