Millie Bright is fit to lead England’s World Cup opener against Haiti today, and the eyes of the planet will be on Sarina Wiegman’s side as they look to build on their success at Euro 2022.
But Bright – a leader at WSL champions Chelsea as well – will also have more than one eye on the world – including an eye tattoo, one of several pieces of body art adorning the defender.
The 29-year-old takes over as caretaker captain for the Lionesses in the absence of injured Leah Williamson – and despite missing Chelsea’s WSL game with a knee injury she picked up in March, she will start in the Group D opener in Brisbane.
She is a regular visitor to the tattoo parlor and added to her collection during her enforced absence from the field, spending five hours with A Star Tattoos artist Dan Rossetter to complete a particularly personal design.
But what do all the different tattoo designs mean? Sports Mail explains everything:
Millie Bright’s tattoos will light up the world as she leads England at the World Cup today
half a tiger
The tiger on his left outside forearm represents strength, an important part of his defensive game.
As Kathryn Batte of Mail Sport said: “Bright is serious, strong, determined and resilient on the pitch, she will intimidate forwards, win duels and can be blasted forward if England need a goal.”
It looks like a tiger; it also looks like a lioness.
A half-tiger and an eye are among the designs that make up the Chelsea defender’s sleeve
The designs hold a personal attachment to Bright, for his privacy and style of play
Next to the tiger is the eye of his partner, Levi Crew, who is a performance coach. You can clearly see it near the centre-back’s wrist.
Bright told The Sun: “It’s my partner’s eye and half a tiger, my main strength with me through thick and thin.”
It’s the one Millie designed herself, based on the inspirational words of her mother Nicola, who told her to “dream big” before every game.
It goes inside Millie Bright’s left forearm.
Some of the drawings were visible during Bright’s pre-match press conference on Friday
Others like the dream catcher were seen during pre-tournament promotional shoots
Bright was born in Killamarsh, a rural village where there were lots of owls. She used to see a peculiar flying creature every year at the stables on the outskirts of Sheffield in Yorkshire.
Of this tattoo, Bright said: “An owl, memories of back home – at the stables we always had an owl that came every year.”
She fell asleep while writing the owl tattoo – it was a five-hour job, filmed live by Dan Rossetter at A Star Tattoos in Chessington in March.
The tattoo artist revealed: “At the start of the session we were chatting, a catch-up since the last time I had seen her – she was talking to me about football and odds and ends.
“I was about to pick up the conversation and I was like, ‘Oh, I don’t have an answer here.’ I looked down and she was asleep.
‘I was quite surprised. It was funny. My reaction must have been an image to begin with.
“She would wake up and say ‘sorry about that, it must be football'”.
As long as she’s not sleeping at work in Brisbane, I’m sure fans won’t be too disappointed.
Two of Bright’s tattoos can be seen during a walk in training ahead of the opener against Haiti
angel with wings
On his arm you can see a drawing that reads angel, with a set of wings.
Two Halves – with Rachel Daly
It’s not just Millie Bright who has tattoos. The Mirror reported that talented all-rounder Rachel Daly has a design that reads ‘at least until the world stops turning’, dedicated to her late father Martyn.
The lyrics are taken from the Leeds United anthem Marching On Together, which was played at his funeral in 2021.
Bright and Aston Villa player Daly befriended their love of tattoos and got matching “two halves” designs – displayed by a fraction of 1/2 – which they showed on the right side of their right hand during training ahead of the Haiti game.
Bright showed off his matching 1/2 tattoo with versatile teammate Rachel Daly during training
Bright will lead the line for the Lionesses in the absence of injured Leah Williamson
Former Lioness got Euro 2022 tattoo
In December last year, Jill Scott told BBC’s The One Show that she got a tattoo of the date of England’s Euro 2022 success.
Scott retired from acting shortly after that win and has since appeared as a pundit and guest on television, winning ITV’s I’m A Celebrity last year.