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Rachel Yankey Biography

Rachel Yankey biography is a complete course about determination and passion. Read the life story of a woman who became a great soccer player.

Rachel Yankey real name is Rachel Aba Yankey. She was born on 1 November 1979 and used to be a football player for the England national team.

Rachel spent 13 years with Arsenal, playing as a left winger or forward, and left the team in December 2016 when her contract ended. She is recognized as one of the Arsenal Ladies Legends.

Debuting in 1997, Yankey played for England 129 times, holding the record for the most caps at that time. She surpassed male goalkeeper Peter Shilton, who had 125 caps (though several female players have since broken this record).

Following Gillian Coultard, Yankey became the second English female player to achieve a century of international appearances. Additionally, she participated in the Great Britain squad during the 2012 London Olympics.

If you’re interested in the exciting life story of Rachel Yankey, read this blog post.

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Everything to Know about Rachel Yankey Biography

Everything to Know about Rachel Yankey Biography
Credit: Sky Sports

Before going through the details of Rachel Yankey stats, let’s review important information about her life.

Rachel Yankey Information

  • Full Name: Rachel Aba Yankey
  • Nickname: Rachel
  • Profession: Footballer
  • Social Handle: @rachelyankey11

Physical Stats

  • Height: 5 ft 4 in (1.63 m)
  • Eye Color: Black
  • Hair Color: Black
  • Weight: 56 kg

Date of Birth and Personal Info

  • Date of Birth: 1 November 1979
  • Birth Place: London, England
  • Nationality: British

Football Information

  • Position: Forward
  • Professional Debut: 1996
  • Jersey Number: 11

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Rachel Yankey Biography: Family & Early Life

Let’s see what we know about Rachel Yankey family background and early years in school:

Pseudonymous Beginnings in Boys’ Football

Rachel Yankey’s early challenges as the only girl on a boys’ team, adopting the pseudonym ‘Ray’ and disguising herself to blend in successfully for two years.

Spotlight at Mill Hill United

Everything to Know about Rachel Yankey life story

Recognition of Yankey’s talent by Russell Mountford, Mill Hill United’s manager, led to an invitation to join the club at the youth level.

Dual Commitments and Hall of Fame Induction

Yankey’s dual commitment to her club and representation of Brent in the London Youth Games culminated in her induction into Brent’s Hall of Fame in 2011.

Enduring Legacy of Skill and Dedication

Yankey’s career trajectory, marked by consistent skill and dedication, transformed from a young girl in a boys’ team to a respected professional in football.

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Everything to Know about Rachel Yankey career
Credit: LCFC

Rachel Aba Yankey, OBE, is a highly regarded former English footballer known for her versatility as a left winger or forward.

In 2020, she received prestigious awards such as the league’s Player of the Year and the PFA Women’s Players’ Player of the Year, emphasizing her outstanding performance and professionalism.

Yankey’s illustrious career includes 129 appearances for the England national team, making her one of the most capped players in its history. Her participation in the Great Britain squad for the 2012 London Olympics further solidifies her elite status.

Beyond her playing days, Yankey seamlessly transitioned into coaching, showcasing her deep understanding of the game and commitment to its growth.

In summary, Rachel Yankey is a distinguished football figure celebrated for her exceptional skills, professional achievements, and contributions to the sport, making her an iconic presence in football.

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Football Career

Everything to Know about Rachel Yankey stats

In this section of Rachel Yankey biography, we’ll take a look at her performance in her clubs.

Early Career Beginnings with Arsenal

Rachel Yankey’s senior playing journey with Arsenal commenced at the remarkable age of 16. Her initial foray into professional football saw her briefly joining the Laval Dynamites in Canada before making a noteworthy move to Fulham in the year 2000.

Historic Milestone with Arsenal

Arsenal marked a pivotal chapter in Yankey’s career as she earned the distinction of being the first registered professional female footballer in England. This period solidified her status as a trailblazer in the sport.

Birmingham City and Return to Arsenal

Following her groundbreaking stint at Arsenal, Yankey continued her journey with Birmingham City for the 2004–05 season.

Subsequently, she rejoined Arsenal for the 2005–06 season after a brief sojourn with the New Jersey Wildcats in the United States.

W-League Triumph and Domestic Treble in 2011

Yankey, alongside teammate Rachel Unitt, left an indelible mark on the New Jersey Wildcats, contributing significantly to their W-League championship victory.

Credit: Team GB

In 2011, Yankey played a crucial role in Arsenal’s achievement of another domestic treble.

Continued Commitment to Arsenal

In January 2014, Yankey reaffirmed her dedication to Arsenal by signing a new two-year contract. The club’s general manager, Vic Akers, praised her ability and experience as invaluable assets to the team in the following seasons.

Farewell to Arsenal

Despite her enduring contributions, Yankey’s association with Arsenal concluded on December 30, 2016, as her contract came to an end.

This marked the end of a significant chapter in Rachel Yankey biography. Yet, her legacy as a pioneer and influential figure in women’s football continued to resonate, leaving an enduring impact on the sport.

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International Career

Credit: Sky Sports

Playing in the England national team is the most important part of Rachel Yankey biography. Let’s review it:

National Debut (1997)

In August 1997, Rachel Yankey made a memorable senior England debut, contributing a goal in a decisive 4–0 victory over Scotland at Almondvale Stadium.

Rise to Prominence (1997-2009)

Yankey quickly ascended to become one of England’s most celebrated female footballers. Apart from showcasing the new England kits, she prominently featured on the FA women’s homepage header.

Notably, she was pivotal in the BBC’s online BBC Sport ‘Academy Masterclasses,’ offering valuable insights into basic soccer skills for aspiring young footballers.

Recognition and Central Contracts (2009)

In May 2009, Yankey achieved a significant milestone by being among the first 17 female players to receive central contracts from The Football Association.

However, the following August, she faced a surprising exclusion from coach Hope Powell’s Euro 2009 squad, with Powell expressing reservations about her form.

Credit: The Fa

Despite being overlooked for subsequent events, Yankey’s return to form with Arsenal Ladies earned her a recall for the 2010 Cyprus Cup.

Milestone Caps and Captaincy (2010-2012)

Yankey’s resurgence at both club and international levels led to consistent selection by Powell.

On July 29, 2010, she reached a historic milestone, becoming the second Englishwoman after Gillian Coultard to earn 100 caps during a home World Cup qualifier against Turkey. Serving as captain, Yankey scored a crucial goal and played the full 90 minutes in England’s 3–0 victory.

In a World Cup warm-up against the United States, Yankey contributed the second goal in England’s 2–1 win at Brisbane Road. During the final tournament, she scored in England’s 2–0 Group B win over Japan after coming on as a halftime substitute.

Caps Record and Later Career (2012-2013)

By June 2012, Yankey equaled Coultard’s appearance record, making 119 appearances for England in a 4–0 win against Slovenia. She surpassed this record, earning her 120th cap in England’s 3–0 win over Croatia in September 2012.


In June 2013, Yankey played in a 1–1 friendly draw with Japan, breaking Peter Shilton’s all-time national record of 125 caps. Despite her achievements, the England squad performed poorly at UEFA Women’s Euro 2013 and was eliminated in the first round.

Challenges and Managerial Transition (2013)

Upon the arrival of England manager Mark Sampson in December 2013, Yankey faced exclusion from his initial squad. However, Sampson emphasized that “the door is firmly open” for her return.

Legacy and Olympic Inclusion (2012)

As part of the FA’s legacy numbers scheme, Yankey was assigned the number 126, commemorating the 50th anniversary of England’s inaugural international. In June 2012, she earned a spot in the 18-player Great Britain squad for the 2012 London Olympics.

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Playing Style


Rachel Yankey, a versatile player who has showcased her prowess as both a left winger and forward, possesses a remarkable blend of skills that have defined her playing style throughout her career.

One of her standout attributes is her electrifying pace, allowing her to navigate opponents gracefully and easily. Yankey’s skillful ball control and technical finesse make her a captivating player, capable of dazzling spectators and elevating the excitement of any match.

A notable aspect of her playing style is her off-the-ball movement, a strategic element that positions her as a constant threat to the opposition. Renowned for her potent finishing, Yankey frequently finds the back of the net from wide areas, adding a dynamic dimension to her goal-scoring capabilities.

Beyond her technical abilities, Yankey’s strong mentality and leadership qualities on the field underscore her significance as a skilled player and a formidable team presence.

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Rachel Yankey Biography: Awards & Honors

Rachel Yankey Biography: Awards & Honors
Credit: iTV

Let’s summarize the achievements of Rachel during her football career:


  • FA Women’s National Premier League (6) – 1996–97, 2005–06, 2006–07, 2007–08, 2008–09, 2009–10
  • FA Women’s Cup (9) – 1998, 1999, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2014
  • FA Women’s Premier League Cup (4) – 1998, 1999, 2007, 2009
  • UEFA Women’s Cup (1) – 2007
  • FA WSL (2) – 2011, 2012


  • FA Women’s National Premier League (1) – 2002–03
  • FA Women’s Cup (2) – 2002, 2003
  • FA Women’s Premier League Cup (2) – 2002, 2003

New Jersey Wildcats

  • W-League (1) – 2005


  • Nationwide International Player of the Year (2004–05) season
  • London Youth Games Hall of Famer (Class of 2011)
  • Women’s Super League Hall of Fame: 2021

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Outside Professional Life

Outside Professional Life
Credit: My London

In the last chapter of Rachel Yankey biography, we tried to take a closer look at her life story out of the field. Unfortunately, there is not much information about her personal life or any relationships.

Rachel Yankey is currently single. When she’s not playing or practicing football, she works as a school coach, teaching the game to kids.

She also hosts a show on CBeebies called Footy Pups. Originally, it was believed that her mom’s love for ABBA inspired her middle name, but she later clarified that it’s connected to her Ghanaian heritage.

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Hooman Wilkinson
Hooman Wilkinson
As a content creator and a football fan, I've always tried to write the right thing while being fun! I like Arsenal, Brazil, and CR7!


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