Lionesses star who played at a World Cup is now a firefighter after retiring
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    From putting out fires in defence to actually putting out fires in real life, it's safe to say former England star Rachel Unitt has had quite the career change.

    Between 2000 and 2013, Unitt made more than 100 appearances for the Lionesses, even appearing at the 2011 Women's World Cup in Germany, where England were knocked out at the quarter-finals stage by France on penalties.

    The left-back made the squad for five major tournaments for the Lionesses, but didn't make an appearance at the 2007 World Cup in China. And after having hung her boots up following her impressive career in 2019, Unitt decided a career change was in order.

    The now 41-year-old has become a firefighter with Staffordshire Fire and Rescue after retiring, and even works alongside her fellow former England star Michelle Hickmott with the service.

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    And despite representing her country countless times, which even saw her named England's International Player of the Year back in 2004, Unitt claims there's no better feeling than saving lives in her new job.

    Speaking to the Telegraph back in 2020, Unitt said: "I have wanted to work for the fire brigade since I was 15 and went to my local fire station in Walsall for work experience while I was at school. I just knew that was what I wanted to do once I left football."

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    "Last year [2019] I became a fully qualified firefighter. The job is very varied. We attend all kinds of incidents: fires, road traffic collisions, flooding, spillages, rescue animals, we assist the police and paramedics at their incidents. Every shift is different. We don’t know what we will be called out to next.

    "Pulling on an England shirt was overwhelming and I felt proud and on top of the world. But saving someone’s life, pulling them out of a house fire or cutting them out of a car, there is no better feeling. That is why it is the best job in the world."

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    Last year, Unitt was awarded her very own England legacy number after the FA announced they would be introducing player numbers to every individual to have represented the Lionesses, with the former Everton defender being allotted 135.

    • Women’s World Cup
    • England women’s football team

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