As a football club, Liverpool has alway prided itself on its homegrown talent. The latest in that long list to find success is Missy Bo Kearns, who has just scooped the Women’s Player of the Season award. At just 20 years old, this is a Red star that’s definitely on the rise…

Missy Bo Kearns enjoyed a breakthrough campaign at senior level for Liverpool Women this season, making 19 appearances and providing two goals from midfield. Forcing her way into the team, she was integral to the eight-game unbeaten run that the team finished the season with. And as much as her performances warranted the award of Standard Chartered Player of the Season, the fan-voted Player of the Season award, which she also won, shows the deep appreciation from the fanbase of a homegrown hero in the team’s ranks, something Kearns knows only too well.

Moving in a steeply upward trajectory, Kearns is motivated by her roots in the local community, as well as the icons that she has grown up watching; players whose footsteps she is now following in. Catching up with the midfielder, we spoke about a range of topics, from her beginnings in the game and the importance of her roots, to the icons that spur her on, her easy-going fashion sense, and being used to launch the new Liverpool 21/22 home shirt.

So let’s go back to the start, what was your footballing childhood like? What was Mosley Hill like as a team to play for?

It was a good environment for me because we had a really strong team. We had Curtis Jones and Bobby Duncan who are both flying in the men’s game. We were a good team and we were always winning. We actually played football too – everyone there was a technically good player at such a young age so we raised each other's standards. It was a good team to play for and we were the best at our age group so it was an ideal place to start.

Did your parents see you had such potential and take you to a club that matched your standards or was it because that was a club you naturally gravitated towards?

It was just my local team. It turned out that our team attracted the best players from everywhere really. It was good to be at a club knowing that it’s where other good players go. That helped me from early on in that it was competitive but also offered a good standard. If you surround yourself with good players, your game improves too and I found that.

missy 15-min.jpg
missy 14-min.jpg
I’m very much a Liverpool player. You never know what the future holds but I know my city and I love my city."

It must have given you all a strong foundation if so many have gone on to break through professionally…

It’s nice to see how we’ve all gone so far, especially as we pretty much all joined the club at the same time. We’ve all worked our way up and it’s now when all that hard work is paying off.

Was there a moment before all that when you fell in love with football?

Since I was a kid, football was part of me. It’s part of our culture in Liverpool. I’ve always been involved and I’ve always loved it for as long as I can remember. Always loved watching it, always loved playing it and I’ve always had a fever for it. My family and I are all Liverpool fans so I was always going to be a red. Liverpool was driven into us, for all my family – we’re a Liverpool family of supporters.

Can you tell us about what the journey has been like – have you had to prove a lot of people wrong to get where you have?

Yeah I’ve had a few knockbacks and a few setbacks along the way. Both internationally and with injuries. There’s never a time in this game where you’re not having to prove yourself. It’s just about having self confidence and that belief in yourself and your own abilities. This side of the game isn’t straightforward and it comes with a lot of setbacks. So long as you believe in yourself and remain driven to reach your targets, you can make it through. Football is like that, it’s just  how it is.

missy 18-min.jpg
missy 16-min.jpg

Was there ever any doubt that you could get to the level you have, what drove you on?

I was always playing in a boys team when I was a kid. Toni Duggan was part of my local youth club and she said to me that she would get me trials for Everton Women. That’s when I knew that there must be a Liverpool Women’s team. I had no idea that there was an academy. It was from that day on and thanks to Toni opening up the door for me that it took me to the next level. I got approached to sign for both Everton and Liverpool but I chose the latter because I supported them.

What has Toni been like for you then, it sounds like she has had a big impact on your life?

Yeah she has. I’ve always spoken to her at England camps and she always comes over to see me to check in on how I’m doing and things like that. I wouldn’t have known about the academy system if it wasn’t for her.

Seeing what she’s done and achieved, where she’s gone, it must give you a glimpse and a taste for what can be achieved?

She’s had an incredible career. She’s done so much and gone all over the world. Both on a club and international level she has done so much. Being involved in the biggest club’s in the world both in England and Spain and internationally too, going to World Cup’s – she’s someone who is doing and has done everything that I want to do. My aims and ambitions are to reach those levels. I want to experience World Cup’s and reach the highest level.

How much are you motivated by getting different experiences through your career – the opportunity to see the world as an example?

I’m always looking to learn and explore new places outside of football. On the pitch, I’m very much a Liverpool player. Liverpool is what I know. I lived overseas with my family when I was younger and went to a British school abroad but I can’t really remember that. My lifestyle is important to me and I do want to experience new things all the time. You never know what the future holds but I know my city and I love my city.

missy 19-min.jpg
missy 13-min.jpg
If there’s a ball sitting there ready to be smashed I’ll always  shout “Gerrard” just before I hit it!"

Gerrard has been someone you’ve said was a real icon for you when growing up – what do you admire most about his career?

All that he has achieved and the way that he carried the team was something I would always admire but also the details like how he used to hit and connect with the ball, it was so satisfying to watch and I always used to try and play like him.

Was it Gerrard’s name that you would be shouting when running around the garden then?

Yeah although I still do it now in training, if there’s a ball sitting there ready to be smashed I’ll always  shout “Gerrard” just before I hit it [laughs]. Those players have such a deep connection to you when  you’re younger.

To have the connection you do to Liverpool, to be playing for the club - how much local pride do you have?

I go and watch Liverpool home and away. I’ve been an avid fan since I was a kid so from Champions League finals to whatever game I can get to, I always want to be there. I went to the last home game of the season with the fans back in, any opportunity to go to a match, I’m there, 100%.

What’s it been like for your family to see how far you’ve come?

I think they’re proud of me but I know that they have a lot of belief in me too. They want me to keep kicking on. They wouldn’t want me to settle and accept standards that aren’t at my level.

missy 11-min.jpg
missy 20-min.jpg
My face being on the Liverpool kit launch is incredible. I used to stand outside the shop waiting for the new kit. So from there to now launching it is a big, big thing for me."

Working with Nike to launch the new Liverpool kit, that’s got to be a bit of a dream-like situation isn’t it? Was that surreal?

My face being on the Liverpool kit launch is incredible. I used to stand outside the shop waiting for the new kit. So from there to now launching it is a big, big thing for me. I remember getting my first kit. I used to get every kit I could as a kid. Liverpool would be the only Premier League team but I used to get kits from all over. Every Spanish team, every French or Italian kit – I used to live in footy kits. My mum will have them all somewhere.

It’s a statement from the club to say you’re one of the players they’re proud to use as a symbol – how much do you want to keep raising your profile in that way?

I want to do that a lot. I think it’s a big part of being a footballer in today’s game. Not just for the sake of it but to have that profile and to be able to use it for good. I want to be brave in doing interviews and stuff like that and step into that side of the game as it’s a big side of it. You’ve got to be able to have that confidence in you in today’s game as well. I think being a role model is something I want to become. What happens off the pitch in football is so important too now. Also, it’s a short career and you almost have to think about how you can get experience now that will help you once you finish. That’s a long way off for me but I realise that the journey can start early on and the earlier you do it, the better you will be when you finish. The media as an example...

How much do you want to use your voice and show the next generation of female players in Liverpool what you can achieve?

It’s nice to be a role model for young girls but also, my younger cousins who are boys - they want my name on the back of their shirts. It’s a proud moment and I just want to keep going and do as much as I can to show what can be achieved.

missy 10-min.jpg
missy 7-min.jpg


You’ve been involved with England, you’ve played at Anfield, what have been the real stand out moments for you that you want more of?

Scoring goals and assisting goals – there’s no greater feeling than that. Playing in bigger stadiums and all these iconic places, it’s all part of the experience I want more of. I want to keep on doing all that I have and keep building on the success I’ve had so far.

We’re looking ahead at Euros. What are your experiences of watching England as a fan, before you were involved in the set up?

Supporting England hurts [laughs]. Obviously we all want England to do well, especially the women. I want to be back amongst that and progress myself through the age groups. I think it’s been disappointing, and I feel the pain like any other fan. In both the men and women’s teams there’s so much talent, so many strong players and there’s no denying just how good the players are. We have world class teams. We have all the talent and hopefully we can start winning trophies soon.

What will your match day look like for a game this summer - after this whole year, it'll be nice to feel a little bit galvanised again won’t it?

I’ll be going out with my mates and watching it with everyone else. I think everyone in the country watches England when they’re playing in big tournaments. It’s definitely exciting for us all. I think now that I’ve been coached football for all the years I have, you watch football differently – you constantly analyse everything.

missy 9-min.jpg
missy 6-min.jpg

Off the pitch, you can put a good outfit together, where does that eye come from?

I think you’ve either got it or you haven’t when it comes to style haven’t you [laughs]. I don’t really look for inspiration, I just take things in when I’m out and about or looking online. I’m always absorbing stuff around me. I think there’s players out there that carry themselves well but that goes beyond just what they wear – it’s about your whole mindset. Trent is one who stands out for me. Henderson too and how he has approached the topic of mental health, head on. They’re going beyond what people expect of football players. When it comes to style, there’s people like Shanice Van de Sanden as well. She’s very cool.

Pick up the Liverpool 21/22 home shirt from 3 June at