Mary Fowler's heartache amid stunning women's football feat for Sam Kerr and Chelsea

The injured Matildas captain was on hand to celebrate with her teammates.

Sam Kerr is a five-time Women's Super League champion after Chelsea thumped Manchester United 6-0 on Sunday to claim the crown yet again. Chelsea's huge win sealed a fifth-straight title on goal difference and provided the perfect send-off for departing manager Emma Hayes.

Kerr, who is currently rehabbing an ACL injury in her knee, celebrated with her teammates and received her champion's medal on the field after the game. The Matildas captain has played a huge part in all five of Chelsea's triumphs, and would have been playing on Sunday if not for the long-term injury she suffered in January.

But Kerr's ecstasy resulted in agony for Matildas teammates Mary Fowler and Alanna Kennedy, who were hoping a win for Manchester City would keep their title hopes alive. Fowler scored City's first goal with a stunning strike, but a 2-1 win over Aston Villa wasn't enough to prevent Chelsea from clinching the title.

Sam Kerr and Mary Fowler.
Sam Kerr and Chelsea won a fifth-straight WSL title, resulting in heartbreak for Mary Fowler and Chelsea. Image: Getty

City needed to win and better Chelsea's victory margin by three goals, but that dream was dashed when the Blues triumphed in brutal fashion. Mayra Ramirez scored the first goal of a double for Chelsea in just 89 seconds, and also had two assists to go along with her brace.

Chelsea went on to destroy United in front of Kerr and a VIP audience, including legendary Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson. Johanna Rytting Kaneryd, Sjoeke Nusken, Melanie Leupolz and Fran Kirby all got on the scoresheet to help Hayes earn a seventh league title.

The star coach is leaving the club to take on the US women's national team job, while Kerr's old striking partner Kirby is also departing Chelsea. Kerr joined in the celebrations after the match, even offering her own version of Cristiano Ronaldo's 'Siuuu!' on the pitch.


Hayes hugged the Aussie star, who has been instrumental in helping her manager win 14 trophies as Chelsea boss. Without her next season, Chelsea will have to take a different direction and it's unclear yet what part Kerr will play in their future.

"We've had some big injuries this year," said Hayes, referring to Kerr and Millie bright in particular. "That's why, for me, this is the best title because we're not stupid, we know we weren't at our best. But for us to win a title - wow. I'm sorry, I don't think you guys realise how hard it is to win and win and win and win. I almost can't believe we've won the title.

"What a wonderful performance. The hardest thing to do is five in a row because people take their eye off the ball. I can't say it's my most enjoyable title. It's definitely been the toughest without doubt, for that reason probably the sweetest."

Emma Hayes with Millie Bright and Sam Kerr.
Emma Hayes with Chelsea stars Millie Bright and Sam Kerr.

Hayes' legacy is also her role in helping the huge growth in popularity of the women's game in Britain. "Everyone said girls can't play, nor can they fill stadiums, nor can they get paid, nor can they create history," the 47-year-old said. "Not only are we not going away but we are going to fill them every week. Women's football now is a serious business and that for me is what it's about."

Fellow Matildas players Kyra Cooney-Cross, Steph Catley and Caitlin Foord helped Arsenal finish in third place with a 5-0 win over Brighton. They will now turn their attention to the Olympics in July, where the Matildas will be without injured captain Kerr.

with agencies