Lionesses captain Leah Williamson has guest-edited a special edition of the Beano, commemorating the 70th anniversary of Minnie the Minx.
The comic’s storyline celebrates the “formidable duo” of England footballer Williamson and the mischievous red-haired character Minnie.
England star Williamson features on the front cover of the latest Beano, on sale on November 15, alongside Minnie the Minx, who was the first female character to appear on the comic’s front page.
Minnie the Minx has appeared in more than 3,000 issues of the Beano since 1953.
Williamson said: “Minnie has shown children for generations, through mischief and laughter, that it’s okay to blaze their own trail through life, and strong role models like her empower young girls, helping them break down barriers.
“I’m honoured to have got the chance to guest edit this historic issue of the comic, and I hope Minnie will continue to inspire many more generations to come.”
Williamson, who captained the Lionesses to the European Championship title in summer 2022, has also penned an editor’s letter in which she says she would like everyone “to kick open any doors they find in their way” and that there “shouldn’t be any barriers to being the best you can be”.
The Arsenal player tells readers: “I’d like to think that because of the Lionesses’ success and the way we do what we do, we’ve opened the door to more girls pursuing their dreams in football and being treated as equals.
“When I was a kid, there weren’t any professional women footballers. It just wasn’t a thing you could be.
“But I loved that because it gave us a chance to prove people wrong and show them we were good enough.”
The special anniversary edition features Williamson starring in an impromptu musical, called The Lioness Sings, with the Bash Street School children, where she finds her inner Minnie and plays pranks in assembly.
She also encourages readers and her fellow Bash Street Kids to dare, to never worry about failing, and to always try something new.
Mike Stirling, Director of Mischief at Beano Studios, said: “Leah Williamson is a real-life Minnie, and this formidable duo is at the centre of an anniversary issue like no other.
“Together, they are the ultimate Min-fluencers, telling their Beano friends, or rather singing, loud and clear, that there’s no greater person to be than yourself.
“And as Minnie is now 10 years old for the seventh time, this might just be the secret to staying a kid forever.”
Beano was first published in July 1938 and is still created every week at its original Dundee headquarters.