Hull recognises late WFA icon Flo Bilton with a plaque
News reaching Women’s Football Archive towers suggests Lúcia Feitosa will coach the Italian women’s ‘futsal’ team in 2018.
“So what?!” you cry in unison.
Well, Maria Lúcia Alves Feitosa is a bona fide person of interest to women’s football historians of every stripe.
In 1987 she became the first Brazilian woman to transfer abroad when she left one mythic outfit in Club Radar, of Rio, for another in ACF Trani of the Italian Serie A.
At Trani her path crossed with two of our own, in the shape of Kerry Davis and Debbie Bampton.
With prolific Susy Augustesen and Antonella Carta up front and the English duo in central midfield, Lúcia was forced out wide to her unfavoured ‘meia-esquerda’ role.
It was a tough introduction to Italian football. She failed to score in 21 appearances and was left clubless when League and Cup runners-up Trani went bust at the end of her first season.
Having been signed as Trani’s replacement for Napoli-bound Rose Reilly, she had big boots to fill. And with little experience of roughhouse Italian defenders she was always up against it.
Born in Recife, Pernambuco, she started her soccer career in São Paulo with CA Juventus then linked up with dominant Rio outfit Radar in 1982.
In June 1988 she played for Brazil at the prototype World Cup in China, under coach João Varella whose passing in October 2017 went largely unheralded.
She had come to the Italian’s notice after starring for the Seleção at the the 1986 Mundialito. Other Brazilian players received offers but only Lúcia took the plunge.
After her Trani experience she remained in Italy and turned her hand to futsal: a form of indoor, five-a-side football.
Apparently the Brazilians wanted to call her up for the proper World Cup in 1991 too, but her Italian club at the time blocked it.
These days she prefers to go by her Brazilian-style ‘artist name’: plain ol’ Lucy.
She’s been beavering away as a coach in Sardinia, working at a soccer school in San Sperate and with various teams in the lower reaches of Italy’s futsal structure.
So parabens and best of luck in your new role, Lucy. Your work ethic and outstanding football pedigree stand you in good stead for the challenges ahead.
Women’s Football Archive wishes all our readers a happy and prosperous 2018.
PSST, word to the wise… everyone knows that GOSSIP is the single most destructive force in the universe. I know it, you know it, even the cats and dogs in the street know it.
And if nothing else women’s football clubs are veritable lightening rods of gossip.
The England national team brings together some of the top gossips from the four corners of the country, producing a gossip epicentre of truly mind-boggling proportions. Gossip on the scale of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. A Gossip payload sparking very real fears that it might rupture the time-space continuum and pull the universe in on itself.
Yadda yadda yadda. Ach, it’s soon old news anyway, tomorrow’s chip wrappers, as they say. Then the cycle repeats – there’s nothing new under the sun.
Twas ever thus. Making her way in the game a young Hope Powell heard on the grapevine that senior Pro Liz Deighan had questioned her fitness to England boss Martin Reagan. She seethed over it for some 30 years then vented in her book.
Back then Deighan was a sinewy powerhouse. Hope a cocky young pretender. Saintly boss Martin Reagan proudly called Hope a Rolls Royce of a player. But the sharp tongues and warring cliques in the dressing room sharktank made it heavy going, for Hope and her one-time paramour Brenda Sempare.
Rugged defender Angie Gallimore shunned the tittle-tattle and reached out to Hope. The gift of a Brazil shirt (‘cos you play like a Brazilian’) sealed their unlikely north-south pact.
When Hope copped racist abuse from a player in a club match, Sempare was on hand to punch the culprit’s lights out. Biff!
Fast-forward 15 years and Hope’s the wily old stager. Getting less of a look-in from England boss Ted Copeland she’s not bitter: “To be fair Ted had a type of player, and I wasn’t it!”
As England manager Hope was eventually ousted by a mutinous rabble of players. Her targets weren’t result-based, she protested, perhaps forgetting ALL managers are a hostage to results.
Preening mentor Sir Trevor Brooking failed to do his own dirty work, slithering away on his belly leaving a slimy yellow stripe. That his ears were burning is a racing cert.
All this ain’t a woman thing, it’s a football thing.
John Aldridge wanted a new contract at Liverpool and accused manager Kenny Dalglish of defecating on him when it wasn’t forthcoming. For his part Dalglish retorted that Aldo had defecated on the club. It’s hard to imagine this excursion into schoolyard gibberish was the finest moment of either man’s storied career.
Taking the scatological theme one step further, disgruntled Scottish journeyman Ian McCall once curled off a genuine “jobby” into Simon Stainrod’s shoe. Yuck!
On that note, we’re hearing on the jungle drums that the current ‘crisis’ in women’s football is gonna run and run… until the next one, anyway.
Born: c.1957, Leeds
Debut: Scotland (H) 23 June 1973
Occupation: Production worker (1976)
…Back to the football then (craving your indulgence Eni!) England kick-off their latest bid for World Cup glory at Tranmere Rovers’ Prenton Park, in an opening qualifier against Russia later this month. And that’s all the excuse we need to recall Prenton Park’s first big women’s fixture; this classic Cup final in 1991 between Doncaster Belles and Millwall Lionesses. Odds-on favourites Donny lost out on a fifth win in their eighth final, as Yvonne Baldeo’s 65th-minute winner handed the spoils to first-time finalists Millwall.
There is an excellent Wikipedia ‘task force’ specialising in women’s football, with some talented and hard-working contributors. But their aims are frustrated at every turn by the handful of obsessed losers at the main project, who block-vote to rig deletion discussions and skew the inclusion criteria in favour of their pet subjects.