Tomboy football captain hangs up her boots to make it as Miss England hopeful
By Deborah Arthurs
A ladies football captain is hoping to top the league table this month - but her victory will have nothing to do with her on-pitch talent.
Coral Beary, 18, is to swap her football boots for high heels to parade past the judges in the final of Miss England later this month.
The teenager, an air hostess from Dunstable, Beds, is hoping to win votes by impressing the judges with her ball skills.
Sporty: Ladies football captain Coral Beary is to swap her football boots for high heels to compete in the Miss England final
Coral already has an army of fans who watch her every week as she plays for her Leighton United ladies team - nicknamed 'The Vixens.'
Coral, who plays central midfield, will battle it out with 60 other beauty queens at the final of Miss England in Leicester on June 26.
She said: 'I was very happy because I had never participated in a pageant before. It was the first time I had done anything like this, so I was really shocked to be picked. I also felt really excited because it has now opened up some great opportunities.
Tomboy at heart: Coral said she was surprised to make the beauty queen final as her friend only entered her 'for a bit of a laugh'
'I was very sporty when I was younger, then during middle school I suddenly turned really girly, but I didn't give up on football because I had played for years and really enjoyed it.
'I feel nervous because it is the first time I have ever done anything like this - but even if I don't walk away with the crown, the whole experience has been amazing.'
Coral won her place in the final after a Polish teenager, Klaudia Zabek, 17, was disqualified because she didn't have a British passport.
The winner of the Miss England contest will win a luxury trip to Mauritius and the chance to compete for the prestigious Miss World title.
Coral revealed how she reached the Miss England finals after she was nominated by her friend as a joke.
She said: 'I've never done anything like this before and my friend thought she'd put me forward for a bit of a laugh.
'I didn't expect to go all the way. I went along not having prepared anything at all and maybe that's what worked in my favour - maybe I came across as really genuine.
Beautiful game: Coral said people are often surprised when she tells them she plays football
'There's some girls who go every year and try to win it - but I've just got lucky first time round. I'll be very happy if I won the final. Who knows - anything could happen.'
Coral, a Luton and Manchester United fan, added: 'I was a little bit of a tomboy at school playing football with the lads in the playground. But even when I got a bit older and a bit more girlie - I still loved playing football.
'I do have a small army of loyal fans - mostly boys - who come along each week to cheer us on. People are surprised when I tell them that I play football because they don't expect it at all.
'But although I'm pretty girlie I love nothing more then having a drink while watching the football in the pub and I'll cheering on England in the Euros next week.'
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