England legend Fara Williams reveals kidney condition battle while playing at Reading

FARA WILLIAMS revealed she has been battling a kidney condition for almost a year.

The England legend required a kidney biopsy before she was diagnosed with nephrotic syndrome.


The condition is caused by an excess leak of protein from blood into urine, and can lead to swelling in the legs and ankles.

Williams, 37, first noticed something was wrong after she had an operation to reattach the muscle and tendons of her thigh to the bone in March 2020.

In the final stages of her rehab she noticed swelling in her legs, hands and face.

The Reading ace revealed on Instagram: "My first thought was that it was some sort of allergy,

"However, the following day I was admitted to accident and emergency and underwent many tests, including a kidney biopsy.

"The result of the biopsy showed that I had a kidney condition called nephrotic syndrome.

"To treat this condition, I was put on the highest possible dose of steroids.

"This, of course, did not come without noticeable side effects.

"I gained an excessive amount of weight and this was noticeable in both my physical appearance and performances on the pitch."

Williams is England's most-capped women's international with 170 appearances.


She has played at three World Cups, and despite her kidney condition battle – she has made 10 appearances this season for the Royals.

The midfielder continued: "I was fully cleared to play football on my medication by the Anti-doping Authority, together with having regular blood and urine tests.

"My consultant had never encountered someone within sport with this condition, until assisting me with my treatment,

"So it has been difficult to know what to do for the best – both for myself and Reading WFC.

"I’ve been conscious of not wanting my teammates or the fans to think that I was unfit or not trying my absolute hardest in training sessions or during matches.

"Upon reflection, I now feel I should have waited until I was further into recovery before I continued to play football."

The Lionesses superstar has urged her fans to be "speak out and support each other" if they are going through something similar.

She added: "It is important to be open and honest about the challenges I have faced, with both my mental and physical well-being.

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