Lioness Leah Williamson curates Beano to celebrate Minnie the Minx’s 70th birthday

Lionesses captain Leah Williamson curated a special edition of the Beano, to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Minnie the Minx.

The story of the comic celebrates the “wonderful duo” of English footballer Williamson and the mischievous red-haired character Minnie.

English star Williamson appears on the cover of the latest Beano, which goes on sale on November 15, alongside Minnie the Minx, who was the first female character to appear on the comic's front page.

Minnie the Minx has appeared in over 3,000 issues of the Beano since 1953.

Williamson said: “Minnie has shown children for generations, through mischief and laughter, that it's okay to forge their own paths in life and that strong role models like her empower young girls, helping them break down barriers .

“I am honored to have had the opportunity to edit this historic issue of the comic, and I hope Minnie continues to inspire many more generations to come.”

Williamson, who captained Lyon to the European Championship title in the summer of 2022, also wrote a letter to the editor in which she said she would like everyone to “kick down any door that comes their way” and that “they should not there are no barriers to being the best you can be.”

The Arsenal player tells readers: “I'd like to think that because of the success of the Lionesses and the way we do what we do, we've opened the door to more girls pursuing their dreams in football and being treated as equals.

“When I was a kid, there were no professional female soccer players. It just wasn't something you could be.

“But I liked that because it gave us a chance to prove people wrong and show them we were good enough.”

The special anniversary edition features Williamson starring in an improvised musical, called The Lioness Sings, with the children of Bash Street School, where she finds her inner Minnie and plays assembly pranks.

She also encourages her readers and colleagues at Bash Street Kids to dare, never worry about failure, and always try something new.

Mike Stirling, director of Mischief at Beano Studios, said: “Leah Williamson is a real-life Minnie and this formidable duo is at the center of an anniversary issue like no other.

“Together, they're the ultimate Min-fluencers, telling their Beano friends, or rather singing, loud and clear, that there's no better man than yourself.

“And with Minnie now turning 10 for the seventh time, this might just be the secret to staying a kid forever.”

The Beano was first published in July 1938 and is still produced weekly at its original headquarters in Dundee.