Players: Pat Firth

Patricia “Pat” Firth: Wunderkind striker and pioneering female coach

With Foden’s in 1974. Photo from the NFM #HiddenHistory project

Born: c.1957, Leeds

Position: Forward

Debut: Scotland (H) 23 June 1973

Occupation: Production worker (1976)

A striking prodigy from Leeds who burst on the scene in a flurry of GOALS. She blasted a sensational debut hat-trick – England’s first ever – against Scotland in June 1973. At club level she helped Foden’s wrest the WFA Cup crown away from Southampton in 1974, then returned to Yorkshire with the ever-improving Doncaster Belles in 1976. After nine goals in 11 England caps, a series of debilitating knee injuries saw her retrain as a goalkeeper and turn to coaching. As a pioneering female player/manager she passed her FA Preliminary licence and took both Rowntrees and Bronte to the WFA Cup semi-finals. In January 1987 she was appointed as Yorkshire and Humberside regional coach, the first woman to hold such a senior coaching role within the old WFA setup. She also coached the Welsh national team during the 1980s.

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