Erin Cuthbert column: Scotland striker on crying in Majorca & being recognised in the gym

Erin Cuthbert

Chelsea and Scotland striker Erin Cuthbert will be writing columns for the BBC Sport website this summer as the national team compete in their first World Cup.

Two weeks ago, I was sitting on a sunbed in Majorca fighting back tears. God knows what I must have looked like - a young girl, on her own, bawling after a phone call. People must have thought I'd just been dumped or something.

But they were happy tears. I'd just spoken to Shelley Kerr and had it confirmed that I'd be going to the World Cup finals with Scotland.

If I'm honest, I wasn't expecting her to phone. I thought we'd just find out on Twitter when the squad was officially named. So I'd disappeared off on holiday myself to try and get it out of my mind a bit - partly because I still had a uni assessment to do and partly because the World Cup was all I'd thought about since my season with Chelsea ended. I'd watched the England squad being named and I was getting nervous and impatient.

So I was sitting there with my earpods in, listening to some music and it suddenly cut out. I was raging because I thought the battery had died, but I fished my phone out of my bag and saw Shelley's name flash up. I had that moment of 'aww naw, do I answer it?' but then I panicked in case she decided to call someone else and take them to France instead.

I answered and she must have recognised from the ring tone that I was on holiday and started asking me about it. But when she told me, honestly, I wanted to burst out greetin' because it's not real until that moment. I was properly emotional and I got a few funny looks around the pool.

'I can go to the gym with my hair messed up'

I'm not usually bothered about people looking at me. I can cut around London no problem but I've been back up the road for the last wee while and it's a bit different here. I went into the gym the other day and two people did that thing where they spot you, then pretend they didn't. You can just say hi next time!

I don't have to try and look my best all the time - I'm a human and I can go to the gym in my sweats and with my hair messed up. I'm not one for a lot of makeup and stuff anyway, but I have to be conscious about the image I portray more generally because there is more and more media coverage now and we're in the public eye.

That makes switching off difficult sometimes because you only have to be caught off guard once and we always have to remember we are role models. But I love that part of it and I think all the girls in Scotland can have at least one of us they can relate to out of us all in the squad.

That's what it was like for me when I was wee. I printed off a team picture and got my glue stick and stuck it on the front of a notebook. Inside, I wrote 'autographs book' and on each page, I wrote a player's name and whenever I went to games I got them all to sign it. I've still got it somewhere.

I was a mascot for a Scotland qualifier at McDiarmid in 2007 - so I'd be eight or nine at the time. I walked out with Julie Fleeting, and Shelley Kerr and Jo Love were in the team and Kim Little was in the squad too. I did keepie uppies at half-time and I remember being so, so nervous but I was buzzing off it.

I saw these girls and thought, 'they're just like me' and that's why it's important that we get this exposure. You can't be what you can't see.

Erin Cuthbert

Erin Cuthbert was speaking to BBC Sport's Richard Winton

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