I won the quadruple with Arsenal, but I only came for the matches and was training with a local Scottish team.

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I won the quadruple with Arsenal, but I only came for the matches and was training with a local Scottish team.

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For most people, winning a quadruple is an accomplishment beyond even our wildest dreams.

But for Arsenal legend Julie Fleeting, this historic feat was achieved in the most remarkable of circumstances.

The multi-talented Fleeting also represented Scotland as a basketball player.

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The multi-talented Fleeting also represented Scotland as a basketball player.Credit: Getty

The former striker won seventeen major trophies during her career at Arsenal, with her success epitomized in the 2006/07 season when her team won the Women’s Premier League (now WSL), the Women’s Cup UEFA (now the Women’s Champions League), the FA Cup and League Cup.

Fleeting played for Ross County in Scotland before signing for Arsenal in 2004.

But speaking to talkSPORT’s women’s football show, she recalled how the unique terms of her deal meant her journey to Arsenal matches ended up being rather long.

She said: “At the time Arsenal were unprofessional. (Manager) Vic Akers asked me if I would sign there. When I came back (from the United States) I had found a teaching job in Scotland, full time Monday to Friday. And he said, “Look, you can still live in Scotland, work where you always planned to work.”

“Because I also don’t know if my job would have moved to the south. I wouldn’t have been able to afford to live there because Arsenal weren’t going to pay as much as my teaching salary at the ‘epoch. would be.”

Fleeting then explained how she decided to construct her schedule to allow her to balance her work and her Arsenal career.

She said: “I’ll fly up and down, work Monday to Friday, then on a Sunday morning I’ll come down. I’ll train with a men’s team or my brother’s team and fly down. I know it was weird, but if it hadn’t been offered to me I wouldn’t have been able to play for Arsenal and afford to move down south.

While at home in Scotland Monday to Friday, Fleeting trained twice a week with the under-21 section of local men’s club Kilwinner Rangers.

All in a day's work for Fleeting - the Arsenal striker often only saw her teammates on Sundays

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All in a day’s work for Fleeting – the Arsenal striker often only saw her teammates on SundaysCredit: Getty

Speaking to UEFA in 2007, her father described how her dedication to football had pushed her to commit to such a busy schedule.

She said: “It’s a three and a half hour drive from Inverness to Glasgow, she then jumps on a plane, gets back on the same plane at half ten at night and gets back on the road because she teaches the next day. These are the sacrifices you must make.

Despite spending most of the week several miles away from Arsenal, her former teammate and talkSPORT presenter and pundit Lianne Sanderson recalled how Fleeting had shone every week on the pitch despite being busy schedule.

She recalled: “You would land, play in the game, sometimes leave if we won comfortably just so you could go back to Scotland! What I love about this story is that none of us had problem with her, everyone loved you because you were a great teammate, but isn’t it crazy to think that you were literally flying to games, training with a team of boys in the middle. week.

“I mean, we were training twice a week – we won the quadruple, we won the Champions League! We were laughing about it at the Emirates because we were saying the fleets were flying to every game and playing! Bang in a hattrick , say hello, we’re leaving, see you later!”

As well as being an Arsenal legend, Fleeting also etched her name into the history books with her role in the Scotland women’s national team.

Having scored 116 goals in 121 appearances, no player has scored more goals than her for Scotland Women.

She is one of only two players to have been inducted into the Scottish Football Museum’s Hall of Fame and was appointed MBE in 2008.

Fleeting was known for being one of the best finishers in the game

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Fleeting was known for being one of the best finishers in the gameCredit: Getty

And what makes her achievements so impressive is how she balanced her teaching job with her soccer career at a time when female soccer players often had to juggle other jobs.

“There were times when I would arrive with maybe an hour to watch the game,” Fleeting said. “I hadn’t been involved in training and I was literally staring at the wall, at the set pieces – because you’d been working on them all week – just trying to get familiar.

“I left for the warm-up, and sometimes it was like… as soon as the final whistle blew, I was in the locker room, took a shower and went back to the airport and came back at home in Scotland!

She told Sanderson: “It seemed very quick for us on the field – but it probably took me a long time to get to know someone, like their personality off the field, because I didn’t spend any time time with anyone.

“Except maybe the first time I got to spend a little more time with everyone was when we went on a trip to Europe. But other than that, I saw you for warm-ups and then that was all, I was gone! No one will see me again for a week.”

You can watch talkSPORT’s women’s football show on Mondays from 7pm on talkSPORT 2.

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