Yes, I’ve heard it all over the years, “Go home and get hubby’s dinner on,” and, “Haven’t you got some ironing to do?” are some of the polite things said to women both as supporters and officials.
I first attended CUFC, with my Dad, in 1970 when they played their last non-league game and waited for confirmation of their promotion into the football league. I was hooked. I loved watching live football and pestered my Dad to take me regularly. Having two sons gave me an excellent excuse to attend every week and take them on away matches with the Junior U’s. They were the glory days when we teetered on the edge of being in the inaugural Premier League. I also continued through the dark days of being hours away from the club being closed down by Inland Revenue and, finally, a brilliant day out at Wembley, when we were back in the league.
Over the years the number of women attending has slowly increased as clubs become more aware that there is a whole section of the community who may like to come along. The improvements in women’s football has definitely helped, I feel; increase both awareness and interest in the game. Don’t assume women don’t like or understand football. I know several men who hate football, so conversely, why shouldn’t women enjoy following a club and watching games?
I have never played football. I only ever managed a kick about with the kids. Even at school I hated running about in the cold to play hockey. I was a hopeless sportsperson! I haven’t been taught the finer points of tactics or formations but does that matter? I understand certain elements of sport such as team work, positive encouragement and personal development. All these elements are common to many areas of working. Is football so very different?
Therefore, despite being female, a role I feel I can excel at is being a supporter! I can honestly say I’m never happier than being on the terraces and shouting encouragement to the team in black and amber and I hope to continue for many more years.
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