Katie Chapman is a name that is well respected throughout the footballing world. In a career that has so far lasted just over 20 years, the Chelsea captain is still going from strength to strength at the age of 35.
Chapman began her footballing career at an early age, she was only 10 when Millwall Lionesses spotted her playing for her primary school and signed her to a youth contract. Her talent was undeniable in the Millwall youth team and she then made her debut for the first team as a 14-year-old. The central midfielder was able to taste success very early on in her career as Millwall won the FA Women’s Cup and the Premier League Cup in 1996/1997 which was her first season in the first team. Chapman remained at Millwall until 2000 and further enhanced her reputation by being the first ever Young Player of the Year in the first FA Women’s Football Awards.
In order to further her career, Chapman joined Fulham Ladies in June 2000 as they were one of the only fully professional women’s teams in Europe at the time. As a full time footballer, Chapman was able to hone her skills as she developed and established herself as a highly technical, box to box midfielder; up for a physical battle in the middle while also being able to pop up with important goals. Chapman continued her successful beginning to her career as Fulham comfortably won their regional league; unfortunately she tasted her first disappointment when Fulham lost 1-0 to Arsenal Ladies in the FA Women’s Cup final. Chapman left Fulham for Charlton Athletic in July 2004 but not before adding a Premier League Cup and FA Women’s Cup to her already growing trophy haul, scoring goals in both of those finals.
After a short two year stint at Charlton, the Londoner joined another London club in Arsenal Ladies. Chapman scored on her debut, winning the Community Shield in the process but this was only a prelude for the magnificent season she was about to have. The 2006/2007 season saw Arsenal absolutely dominate the Women’s game as they marched to an exceptional quadruple. Chapman was a key component of the squad that won the FA Premier League Cup, FA Women’s Cup, FA Women’s Premier League and the UEFA Women’s Cup that year. Chapman scored 30 goals in 58 league games over four years for Arsenal before she moved out of London to play for the first time in her career. Aiming to challenge herself again, Chapman went on loan to American club Chicago Red Stars where she spent the year before returning to Arsenal in 2010.
The next four seasons followed the same trajectory as her previous spell as The Gunners won the first ever WSL 1 season and then retained their title a year later.
In January 2014, Chapman joined her fifth London club when she finally joined Chelsea Ladies. Chapman was persuaded to join The Blues by Chelsea manager Emma Hayes after they had previously worked together at Arsenal and in Chicago. Hayes quickly gave Chapman the captain’s armband, an honour she is still carrying till today. Chapman’s nowse and title winning experience was key as she led Chelsea to the double and their first ever top level trophies, she was also named Player of the Year for her role in the campaign.
Katie Chapman has had such an illustrious career with trophies following her everywhere she has gone. She is currently on 94 England caps and will hope to reach the 100 mark as she continues to confidently lead Chelsea on their journey to more success.