Players: Pat Davies

Pat “Thunder” Davies


Davies at the 1971 Mitre Trophy final
Davies at the 1971 Mitre Trophy final


Born: c.1955, Netley
Position: Striker
Debut: Scotland (A) 18 November 1972
Occupation: Valuations clerk (1972)


Nicknamed “Thunder” for her booming shot, England’s original centre-forward was small in stature but big in goals.


A deadly striker whose aerial prowess belied her lack of inches, Davies burst on the scene in a flurry of goals for England and the great Southampton WFC team of the era. In pre-National League days the WFA Cup was the only show in town – Davies’s Southampton side made it their personal property with six wins from the first eight tournaments.


Wendy Owen (2005) described Davies simply as “a centre–forward with a clinical finish.” While Saints team mate Sue Lopez (1997) hailed 5ft Davies’s “incredible ability to jump higher than players much taller than herself and superbly head the ball once she reached it”.

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Players: Janet Bagguley

Janet Bagguley


Bagguley (right) with Jeannie Allott in 1972
Bagguley (right) with Jeannie Allott in 1972


Born: c.1955, Buxton
Position: Defensive midfield
Debut: Scotland (A) 18 November 1972
Occupation: TBC


Midfield enforcer Bagguley, 17, made it through the trials into Eric Worthington’s original England squad in 1972. She also played netball to a high standard.
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Player: Miss C.V. Richards

The death of Miss C.V. Richards: A tragedy felt right round the world


England booked their place at the 2015 Women’s World Cup this week, with a 4–0 win in Cardiff. Wales’s mad five minutes just before half-time saw them ship three ridiculous goals and turned the match into a tedious cakewalk. But events at another match in South Wales some 90 years ago had far greater import for the history of women’s football…

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Ann Chiejine: Nigeria’s Princess of Goalkeepers

Ann Chiejine: Groundbreaking Falcons ‘keeper


We’ve all heard the lazy stereotypes about African goalkeepers (“naïve” “erratic”), and female goalkeepers (“rubbish”). Ann Agumanu-Chiejine is a living, breathing repudiation of both. One of Africa’s finest ever goalkeepers, the Nigerian’s athleticism and breathtaking acrobatic ability earned her five consecutive African Nations Cups with the Super Falcons, as well as a place at three World Cups and one Olympic Games. Here is her story

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Anne O’Brien: Irish soccer legend

Anne O’Brien: Irish soccer star who carved out a glittering career on mainland Europe


The girl from Dublin who dreamed big – overcoming incredible obstacles to make her mark in international soccer. In the course of a long and successful career she won six Serie A titles, two Coppa Italia winner’s medals and etched her name into women’s football folklore.

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1997: The first UEFA under–18 tournament

England’s first taste of women’s football at youth team level


England’s under-19 team have been in Norway this past week, in UEFA Championship action, while next week the under-20s take centre stage at their World Cup in Canada.


Now a regular part of the football calendar, it is only in recent years that youth tournaments for women’s national teams came into being.

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Portopia ’81 – England women tour Japan

Caught in time: the England women’s football team jet off to Japan in September 1981


In autumn 1981, coach Martin Reagan’s charges made history by becoming the first England national team ever to visit the Land of the Rising Sun.


According to the Japanese FA, the Portpier 81 International Ladies Football Festival tournament was tied in with Portopia ’81, a massive trade fair or “Expo” to mark the completion of Port Island. This was a man-made island built off the coast of Kobe between 1966 and 1981 at a cost of several billion yen. Another island was completed in 1992, only for Kobe to be rocked by a devastating earthquake in 1995.


Matches were played as double-headers, 40 minutes each way. The second round of fixtures was played 300 miles north east of Kobe, in Japan’s capital city Tokyo. The Danish FA (DBU) report attendances of 5,000 in Kobe and 3,000 in Tokyo. England v Italy and Denmark v Japan fixtures do not seem to have been played: perhaps a discreet veil was drawn over them after the hosts’ 9–0 hammering by Italy!


The Italians classed the tournament as an edition of their Mundialito series. And they had no compunction about declaring themselves the winners despite drawing with Denmark and not playing England.

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Players: Jane Stanley

Jane Stanley: Raising the Standard


Born: 13 April 1964
Position: Forward
Debut: Ireland (H) 27 April 1986
Occupation: Sports Development Assistant (1987), Pro footballer (1989)


A prolific scorer and exquisite ball player who broke new ground in Belgium with Standard Liège, doing much to improve the reputation of England’s footballers on the continent.

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