England ‘keeper Sue Whyatt: Forget me not!
1972 England goalkeeper Sue Whyatt recently got in touch with Women’s Football Archive:
Hi I am Sue Whyatt, I played goalkeeper for Macclesfield Ladies and alongside Janet Bagueley also from Maccs team. I also played for England. I was on the first England squad in 1972 and won 1 cap playing against Scotland. I was the reserve goalie. I seem to have been missed out of all the history of England Ladies. I still have my cap and a scrap book though I can’t find my picture of us at Wembley when we were issued with bags and boots, all of which we had to give back !!
That’s Sue on the right, leaning over to share a joke with Macclesfield pal Bagguley. Both sport the controversial barely there knicker-shorts issued to the squad, while a trendy platform shoe lies discarded by Sue’s foot.
Beside her, footballing ex-nun Paddy McGroarty beams as she rips open her on-loan Mitres. The late Sylvia Gore is in the corner, beside the obligatory tea urn. Young Maggie Kirkland (later Pearce) sits behind Bagguley on the floor.
Thanks for getting in touch Sue – it’s always an honour to hear from players who played their part in making the game we all love into what it is today.
Born: c.1955, Buxton
Position: Defensive midfield
Debut: Scotland (A) 18 November 1972
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.
She was one of two Macclesfield Ladies players to be picked, alongside the 16-year-old substitute goalie Susan Whyatt.
In November 1972 Bagguley anchored the midfield in England’s famous 3–2 debut win in Greenock.
Downmarket tabloid The Sun branded Bagguley: “this charmer from Cheshire who has been called the Nobby Stiles of ladies’ soccer.” But the journo conceded that she was better looking with more teeth!
Friend and contemporary Wendy Owen (2005) characterised Bagguley as: “Hard as nails and a ferocious tackler”.
Owen recalled the formation of a card school with the younger members of the squad: fellow ladettes like Bagguley and Jeannie Allott.
On 31 May 1974 unbeaten England thrashed the Netherlands 3–0 in Groningen. The report in the local Leeuwarder Courant paper credited the first goal to Sue Lopez, but Dutch FA (KNVB) records give it to Bagguley. Pat “Thunder” Davies hit the other two.
Controversially, Bagguley and the other members of the card school gave their WFA handlers the slip after the match and spent the day tearing it up in Amsterdam’s red-light district.
In September 1975 Bagguley was named on the bench for England’s match with Sweden at Plough Lane, Wimbledon. The game finished 1–3 — the second of two chastening beatings administered by the Swedes that year.
Bagguley started another win over the Netherlands at Borough Park, Blackpool on 2 May 1976, in the number 6 shirt. England won 2–1, but she was not included for the Home Nations tournament later that month.
Sue Lopez (1997) wrote that Bagguley was among several leading players who drifted out of football around 1978, frustrated with a general lack of direction and leadership.
UEFA women’s committee – an obstructionist sham composed entirely of male blazers – collapsed that year and properly organised international competitions seemed further away then ever.
The WFA’s Pat Gregory and Hannelore Ratzeburg from Germany eventually set up a proper UEFA committee which got things up and running.
It came too late for the likes of Bagguley, lost to the game in her early 20s.