After speaking to current Arsenal and England players, it is immediately obvious the impact that Watford-born Smith has had on her former team-mates.

"She is one of the best," Arsenal and England midfielder Jordan Nobbs, 24, told BBC Sport. "Watching Kelly in World Cups growing up, she was an unbelievable player.

"She could take on an entire team by herself sometimes to win you the game and was one of the only players in the world who could do that.

"She is the David Beckham of women's football. She has been that stand-out player, that inspiration, that role model."

Delivering at major international tournaments

A common criticism of some modern stars of the men's game is their differing performance levels for club and country.

But the same could never be said of Smith, who scored four goals at the 2007 World Cup alone, prompting a subsequent appearance on Jonathan Ross' then-BBC One chat show.

"Kelly played a huge role in getting people to recognise women's football as being entertainment," said broadcaster Jacqui Oatley, who presents the BBC's Women's Football Show.

"By getting their attention on television, she helped to get bums on seats.

"In the rare opportunities for England Women games to be on television, with lots of people watching the team for the first time, she was outstanding and dragged England into the final of Euro 2009.