Emma Hayes, the most successful Women’s Super League manager in history, celebrates her 45th birthday today.
Hayes joined Chelsea in 2012 and has since transformed the team into one of the best in the world.
She has won four WSL titles with the Blues, and helped the side reach the Women’s Champions League final last season.
Hayes is known for her big personality and her tactical expertise. To celebrate her birthday, GiveMeSport Women looks at her five best moments.
Euro 2020 punditry
Hayes became a household name after taking on the role of pundit and commentator with ITV during Euro 2020 this summer.
She proved to be extremely popular with viewers as a result of her excellent analysis and insight, bagging a role commentating on the final between England and Italy as a result.
Hayes helped put the WSL on the map during Euro 2020, and likely attracted a whole new group of fans to women’s football.
Euro 2022 prize money criticism
Hayes has never shied away from being vocal about what she believes in, and was as articulate as ever when commenting on UEFA’s decision to double the amount of prize money available for Euro 2022.
At first glance, the doubling of prize money does not seem to warrant complaint. But Hayes spoke for women’s football fans everywhere when she pointed out the prize pot was still tiny in comparison to the funds available for the men’s tournament.
“It’s not enough money,” Hayes said. “When you consider it and look at it relatively, it’s nowhere near the amount of money that’s needed.
“Prize money is what has a huge impact in the men’s game and I think it’s a gesture that needs to be raised and considered.”
Reaction to Champions League semi-final win
Hayes is well-known for giving iconic post-match interviews, and it was no different after Chelsea reached the Champions League final last season.
“I’m not going to sit here and give you a load of cr*** platitudes, I worked my whole life for today and I’m so f****** proud,” she told Clare Balding on BT Sport.
Although Chelsea went on to lose 4-0 to Barcelona, Hayes became the first female manager to reach the Women’s Champions League final in 12 years.
WSL Hall of Fame
As a result of her incredible achievements in women’s football, Hayes was the fourth person to be inducted into the WSL Hall of Fame.
She joined England legends Kelly Smith, Rachel Yankey and Fara Williams as the first names to be honoured.
“I’m honoured and surprised,” Hayes told Sky Sports. “I think only when my career is done, will I really reflect on what we’ve achieved. While I’m in it, I’m always trying to find an edge every day.”
Title-winning match reaction
Chelsea contested a nerve-wracking match against Manchester City last season, with the WSL title at stake.
The Blues held on for a 2-2 draw, but City would have gone into pole position to win the league if they had found a winner. Hayes revealed to BT Sport just how nervous she had been in her post-match interview.
“If anyone thinks that’s a comfortable experience for a coach, let me tell you, that was horrendous for 45 mins. I’m not going to mask it.
“I’m so relieved it’s over. I know my family are watching. They saw the colour drain out of me. It’s over. Thank god.”