'Future Lioness' was 'handpicked' to star in BBC TV promo15-year-old footballer says it was 'dream' to star in Lionesses TV promo
An aspiring football player from Haringey was the star of a Women’s European Championship promo aired on BBC television last Sunday.
The video – aired on BBC One during its coverage of the Euros final, which England won – starred 15-year-old Amber Leighton and was viewed by 17.9 million people according to the BBC.
Growing up in Tottenham and Edmonton, Amber plays for the 'National Champions' team at Haringey Girls Academy, which provides football training for girls under 16 in the borough. She also represents the academy’s under-16 squad.
In the BBC promo, she can be seen dribbling across London to Wembley Stadium. On the way, football legends and celebs, including David Beckham, Prince William and Beth Mead (who was named Euro 2022's best player and also won the Golden Boot as top goalscorer), share messages of support for the Lionesses.
Amber was hand-picked by the Football Association (FA), which sought “a girl that potentially would be a future Lioness” to star in the promo. Within days of being selected, she was shooting her screen debut at Wembley.
Amber said: “What more could a girl want than to be stepping out filming on the Wembley pitch, meeting idols and being on the screen for the biggest game in England women’s [football] history? It’s been a dream come true.”
Her father, Marc, said: “To see Amber not only succeed on the pitch but to see her be confident enough to be in front of the camera is amazing. This confidence comes from being with Haringey [Girls Academy] – it has built her self esteem as well as her confidence and motivation.”
Adem Ali, director of Haringey Girls Academy, said: “It's been an incredible experience. From getting calls from the BBC for a representative, to seeing Amber on the TV at the biggest women’s football event ever.
“To have a Haringey girl representing us on the national scale says everything about what we are trying to achieve in Haringey and the success of what we are doing.”
The video aired before Sunday’s historic England vs Germany final, which saw the Lionesses deliver England’s first-ever Euros trophy, with Chloe Kelly scoring the dramatic winning goal in extra-time
Amber is currently studying for her GCSEs and will soon get the chance to make the step up to the senior women's football team. She is hopeful that this can potentially lead to an England Lioness call up this season and stepping out at Wembley in the not so distant future in front of a packed stadium.
Amber is the vice captain of the Haringey Girls Academy team and is looking forward to leading them into another season where they try and defend their national title from last year.