Liz Deighan: North-east football pioneer whose greatest legacy stands on Merseyside…
Born: c. 1953, Northumberland
Debut: France (H) 7 November 1974
Occupation: Computer programmer (1981), electronic test engineer (1983), technical training tutor (1991)
Elizabeth “Liz” Deighan is an English soccer great. That a generation of Lionesses fans have grown up in ignorance of her footballing deeds is both a scandal and a travesty! On the pitch, midfield dynamo Deighan won 48 England caps and resembled (a scaled-down version of) her modern equivalent: fellow north-easterner Jill Scott. The lynchpin of the great St Helens team which reached four WFA Cup finals in the 80s, she also graced the Euro 84 final with England. Off the park she was a bright and innovative tactician who served as coach for the north-west region, England under-21s and the club she founded in 1989: Newton Ladies, who became Liverpool Ladies.
Wheelchair-bound boxer Michael Watson on the Highbury turf, surrounded by chart-toppers Aswad
Classic match report: nouveau riche Gunners edge out Belles before record Highbury crowd
December’s bumper 3,256 crowd at Brighton’s AMEX Stadium left women’s soccer stattos scratching their noggins. Was it a record? Well yes… and no. It was a record for the newly-reconstituted WPL, but definitely not an English women’s league record. That particular honour went to this epochal Arsenal–Belles clash at Highbury, which topped 18,000 way back in 1993. Arsenal’s Wylie and Ball scored either side of Coultard’s equaliser. Although beaten Donny roared back with a league and cup double the following season, this match arguably cast the die for Arsenal’s unhealthy long-term suffocation of domestic competition…
Born: 4 February 1971, Kingston upon Thames
Debut: Croatia (A) 18 April 1996
Occupation: PE teacher (1996)
Ten years as a player and ten more as an off-field exec have made Clare Wheatley part of the furniture at Arsenal Ladies. Women’s Football Archive looks back at the once-capped England international’s career, part of an ongoing quest to profile EVERY woman to have played for England…
Walker, Smith and Coultard meet their public at Doncaster roadshow
On a rainy Monday night in November, the #SHEKICKSBACK roadshow rolled into Doncaster. Following an earlier event in London organisers chose Doncaster Belles territory for the second edition, in honour of the South Yorkshire giants’ proud history.
A joint venture between women’s soccer bible She Kicks and Women’s Soccer Zone, #SHEKICKSBACK aimed to correct the perception that women’s football is rootless by publicly grilling big name players. It was manna from heaven for women’s football anoraks!
Chelsea founder Tony Farmer sets the record straight
In March 2015, Women’s Football Archive published Casey Stoney: The Early Years. Now Chelsea founder and ex-boss Tony Farmer has taken the time to get in touch and point out some major shortcomings in the article. Tony hasn’t pulled any punches in patiently laying out the truth, dismantling a string of factual errors and calling out some downright baloney. His comments are reproduced here in full…
Right… where to start with this one!? A Hall of Famer with an MBE for services to women’s football. Six Women’s FA Cup winner’s medals, the last two won as player-manager. Doubles. A treble. Ninety-five caps for England in a 19-year international career. A top-level club career spanning parts of four decades. Impressive numbers, which only scratch the surface on the story of this English football titan…
Sue Law: Gutsy England defender who carried the fight off the pitch
Born: 25 April 1966, Rochford
Debut: Wales (N) 17 August 1985
Occupation: Sport Development Officer (1989), FA Head of Equality (2015)
Defender Sue Law played around 40 times for England and represented Pelynt, Brighton, Millwall Lionesses and Bromley Borough with calm assurance. But she is perhaps best known as that rare thing: a brainy footballer! The old stereotype says any player with two ‘O’ Levels must be nicknamed “the professor”. But Law is in a different league altogether. After injuries took their toll she hung up her boots but vowed to move women’s football forward from the inside.