Report: Scotland’s moral right to the Women’s FA Cup

The real story of Eric Worthington and the Women’s FA Cup

Annual Scotland–England match trophy was repurposed as English WFA Cup

Women’s Football Archive sounds the pibroch for footballing justice

Last hurrah: Eric Worthington’s Cup gets its swan song in 1997

England’s first ‘official’ match on home soil took place in the rarefied environs of Manor Park, Nuneaton on 23 June 1973. The failure to secure a Football League ground for the event – even in the off-season – was a measure of the lasting sabotage wrought on women’s football by the FA’s 1921 ban. Opponents Scotland had been edged out 3–2 in the teams’ first fixture the previous November. In contrast to that blizzard by the Clyde, Nuneaton was in the midst of a scorching heat wave. With England leading 2–0 at half-time, the roof fell in on the peely-wally Scots. A final score of 8–0 remains their record defeat. Pat Firth’s debut hat-trick, braces from Pat Davies and moonlighting Scot Paddy McGroarty, and a late finish from sub Eileen Foreman undid Scotland, whose captain Mary Anderson had to go off at half-time.

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Players: Lorraine Hanson

Lorraine Hanson (née Dobb): Belles and England great

Hanson lines up for England in 1984

Hanson lines up for England in 1984

Born: c.1959, Worksop

Position: Defender/Forward

Debut: 1975?

Occupation: Sales receptionist (1983, 1985), Clerk (1986)

Considering Lorraine Hanson was such a brilliant footballer for Doncaster Belles and England, there is next to nothing about her on the internet. After starting out in her native Nottinghamshire with Carr Fastener and Nottingham Rangers, she joined Doncaster Belles in 1977 and became a key part of one of the most successful English club teams ever assembled. Equally capable at centre-forward or at centre-half, Hanson made around 30 appearances for England and played in the 1984 UEFA Championship final.

A Worksop-born Sheffield Wednesday supporter, Hanson cut her teeth in street football with the boys in a Nottinghamshire mining town, much like future team-mate Jackie Sherrard.

As a bright prospect with Carr Fastener (a factory team from Stapleford) she made Tommy Tranter’s England squad for the 2–0 win over France at Plough Lane, Wimbledon, on 7 November 1974.

She sat on the substitute’s bench alongside Carol Thomas and Liz Deighan, who came on to make the first appearances of their illustrious Lionesses careers.

At just 14 years old Hanson was there for the experience. But if she did make it on the pitch she must be England’s youngest ever senior player.

The programme for England’s match against Sweden at Ullevi on 15 June 1975 listed ‘Loiraina Dobb’ at number 7. The Swedes won 2–0 to inflict England’s first defeat.

Hanson’s opposite number Ann Jansson hit both goals in the game played over 30 minutes each-way before a Swedish WNT record crowd of 2,963.

Fifteen-year-old Pia Sundhage debuted for Sweden, the first of many duels Hanson fought out with the all-time great. Hanson later put on record that Sundhage was the best player she ever faced.

At the 1976 Pony Home Championships, schoolgirl Hanson was attached to Nottingham Rangers. She joined Notts League rivals Doncaster Belles in 1977.

In the 3–0 win over Belgium at The Dell, Hanson won a 14th cap. It was England’s first match on a top tier ground and attracted a record crowd of 5,500.

Hanson then quit England duty for a spell. She snubbed the unofficial 1979 Euros, being described as “retired” in Sue Lopez’s Women’s Football magazine report (Lopez’s scare quotes).

A few England players drifted away at this stage, disgruntled at the sport’s lack of progress. UEFA’s women’s sub-committee (all-male) had folded, so the prospect of proper tournaments receded.

In 1979 Eileen Lillyman of Bronte was drafted in as a replacement sweeper, but broke her leg the following year.

Hanson was recalled by England boss Martin Reagan in May 1982 for a friendly with Sweden in Kinna. Reagan made changes after seeing his side horsed 3–0 by Norway at Cambridge in October 1981.

She formed a front three with Tracy Doe and Janet Turner as England took credit from a bruising 1–1 draw.

Swedish FA records attribute England’s goal to Hanson, but Reagan’s report in the WFA News is clear that Doe did the damage.

Lorraine married Belles gaffer Richard Hanson on 20 November 1982 at Worksop Priory Church. On the first day of their honeymoon she played for the Midland region vs South East region at Leicester!

Romance had blossomed when her car broke down and Richard swooped with the offer of a lift to training and matches.

That season she put the Belles in their first ever FA Cup final, heading the winner in a tense 2–1 semi-final win over Friends of Fulham at Imber Court Metropolitan Police Ground.

The programme for the 1983 Cup final at Lincoln’s Sincil Bank named Hanson as the only England player in Donny’s squad.

She wore number 9, leading the line in the Belles’ 3–2 victory. But for England she nailed down a spot at centre-half during the Euro 84 qualifying campaign, alongside Angie Gallimore.

According to Cathy Gibb’s match report, Hanson conceded a “dubious” penalty in the Euro 84 semi-final at Crewe, despite her “faultless” performance.

England centre-backs Hanson (left) and Gallimore (right)

England centre-backs Hanson (left) and Gallimore (right)

Hanson played well in the final but suffered heartbreak when her kick was stopped by Elisabeth Leidinge in the Lionesses’ shoot-out defeat at Kenilworth Road, Luton. It was her 27th cap.

She scored both Donny’s goals in their 2–4 1984 final defeat by Howbury Grange. She was denied a hat-trick by a “last minute despairing Sallie Jackson tackle”.

In 1985 she played in the final at Craven Cottage, but England midfielder Brenda Sempare led the Belles a merry dance in Friends of Fulham’s 2–0 win.

Hanson started England’s first two Euro 87 qualifiers, but was absent from the 85 Mundialito. She also missed the Belles’ 1986 Cup final defeat by Norwich, as she was three months pregnant.

After welcoming daughter Jenna, she came back in 1986–87, only to find Kaz Walker installed at centre-forward. Walker promptly hit the goal trail, and didn’t let up for 20 years!

Doncaster Belles recaptured the Cup in 1987 at the City Ground and retained it the following year with a 3–1 over Leasowe at Gresty Road, Crewe.

Hanson left Donny after 12 seasons in 1989 and is believed to have hung up her boots.

Player: Linda Coffin

Linda Coffin

Linda Coffin at the Dell, 1978

Linda Coffin at the Dell, 1978

Born: c.1955, Portsmouth

Position: Centre-back

Debut: Wales (H) 22 May 1976

Occupation: Section manager (1976), Chargehand (1982)

One of England’s finest defenders who backstopped the great Southampton WFC team of her era to four WFA Cup wins.

Keen hockey player Coffin joined Southampton WFC in 1974, as an 18-year-old employed at the Plessey factory in Fareham. Her dad Noel also took over as Saints gaffer.

Southampton, winners of the first three WFA Cups, were rebuilding having been deposed by Fodens in the 1974 final.

Coffin proved a tall and elegant centre-half with good timing in the tackle and capable of playing out from the back. Her aerial ability was never in doubt.

With Coffin at the heart of their defence rejuvenated Saints recaptured the WFA Cup in 1974–75, thumping first-time finalists Warminster 4–2 at Dunstable Town.

She picked up a second winner’s medal the following year, in a 2–1 extra-time win over QPR in front of BBC cameras. Highlights were shown before the men’s final – won by Southampton FC.

Coffin’s performances had not gone unnoticed and England boss Tommy Tranter called her up to the Pony Home Championship squad in May 1976.

In the opening game against Wales at The Eyrie, Bedford, Coffin won her first cap at the age of 20. She was drafted in alongside Wendy Owen, as England’s original captain Sheila Parker dropped out.

Carol McCune (Thomas) inherited the armband. But legend Parker was far from finished and later returned to partner Coffin after Owen’s injury-induced retirement from international football.

Coffin instantly impressed, her refined style complementing the more agricultural Owen. She soon had the respect of her team-mates as England carried off the trophy.

She went on England’s tour of Italy the following month, which resulted in two bruising defeats (2–0 and 2–1) on bone hard pitches in Rome and Cesena.

Italian FA records attribute England’s goal to Coffin, but Wendy Owen’s (2005) recollection was that Elaine “Baddy” Badrock scored.

Another excellent performance in England’s 2–1 win over Wales in October 1976, saw Coffin nicknamed “The Rock” by Lionesses team-mates.

In 1977 Southampton lost the Cup final 1–0 to sworn rivals QPR. Coffin then sent shockwaves through women’s football when she sensationally quit Saints for their Cup final conquerors.

She played for The Hoops AGAINST Southampton in the 1978 WFA Cup final, but finished on the wrong end of an 8–2 worrying.

Pat Davies, the smallest player on the pitch, headed in Southampton’s opening goal from a corner. Sue Lopez drilled in a second, before Pat Chapman famously ran amok – netting a record six goals.

To make matters worse, 1978 saw Southampton finally scoop the Treble of WFA Cup, Home Counties League and Home Counties League Cup after years of trying. And they beat out Coffin’s QPR in all three!

By the time of England’s 3–0 win over Belgium at the Dell on 31 October 1978, Coffin was a Southampton player again.

She got her mitts back on the WFA Cup that season when Southampton edged out Lowestoft 1–0 at Waterlooville.

1980 was the first time that the WFA Cup final didn’t feature Southampton — the tenth year of the competition.

Coffin made amends the following season as Southampton won back their crown in style, beating 1980 winners St Helens 4–2 at a hostile Knowsley Road.

She was selected by Martin Reagan for England’s historic 1981 tour of Japan, starting both of England’s games in the Far East.

When England began their first UEFA campaign, against Northern Ireland at Crewe on 19 September 1982, Coffin had 28 caps.1

Coffin and striker Tracy Doe were dropped for the game in Belfast on 13 May 1983, for what Reagan dubbed “experimental reasons”.

This meant she did not feature in either of England’s semi-finals versus Denmark or the final defeat by Sweden.

When Southampton WFC folded in 1986, Coffin was among an exodus of players to Red Star Southampton.

She was not listed as part of the 1991–92 Red Star team who finished runners-up to Donny Belles in that season’s WFA Cup and inaugural National League.

Sue Lopez’s women’s football bible Women on the Ball (1997) reported that Coffin was still with Red Star (by then rebranded as Southampton Saints) as late as 1996.

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Coffin executes a blockbuster challenge against France in Longjumeau, February 1977. Note the French player resplendent in official Adidas kit, as worn by Platini and pals at the following year’s World Cup in Argentina.

England’s kit was donated to the Women’s Football Association by Banbury Sportswear — it bore no relation to the natty Admiral kit worn by the FA’s underachieving men.


1. According to the match programme. A Millwall Lionesses match programme versus Red Star Southampton on 25 September 1994 listed “Lynne Coffin” with 19 England caps and six FA Cup winner’s medals.

What they did next: Millwall Lionesses 1991 Women’s FA Cup winners

Spotlight on Millwall Lionesses 1991 – Women’s FA Cup winners

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In an iconic final, Millwall Lionesses’ class of ’91 beat Doncaster Belles, the holders, 1–0 at Prenton Park to lift their first Women’s FA Cup. In the Greater London League they saw off Friends of Fulham and Arsenal to qualify for the first ever National League in 1991–92. With cult status assured, the team famously imploded and went their separate ways. Now the Women’s Football Archive opens the vault and looks back at the Lionesses squad from that memorable season.

 


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Lesley Shipp (later Higgs) Goalkeeper who joined the Lionesses from Milton Keynes in 1988. A 25-year-old shop assistant in 1991. Had specialist goalie coaching from Aldershot stopper David Coles in the days when this was unusual. Won her first England cap in 1990 under Martin Reagan and quit the national team after playing at the 1995 Women’s World Cup. Moved on to Arsenal and then Wembley in 1994. Had the game of her life in Arsenal’s 1993 Cup final win, then kept goal for Wembley against Millwall in the 1997 Cup final.


Maria Luckhurst Attacking full-back with a fierce shot. In 1991 was a 20-year-old bank clerk recently capped by England under-21s. A youth team product who joined Millwall at 11 after being kicked out of boy’s football. Now a high-powered investment banker with BlackRock.


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Lou Waller (later Newstead) Joined her girlhood club at 12 and went on to become manager and chairman in a distinguished Lionesses career. Installed as England’s regular left-back after her 1989 debut, but took on a more pivotal role for her club. Enhanced her Millwall credentials by being the first England player ever to be sent-off, against Italy in 1992. Bizarrely taken to the 1995 World Cup while injured and not fit enough to play. A keen student of the game, she spent two off-seasons playing for HJK Helsinki in Finland and coached the Lionesses’ pioneering youth teams. Hit the only goal in the 1997 Cup final win over Wembley. Twenty-years-old in 1991, she later went on the men’s club payroll as part of their community department.


Tina Mapes A sweeper or holding midfielder of rare composure, Mapes won the Lionesses’ Player of the Year in 1989–90, her first season with the club. She captained England under-21s and won her first senior cap in the dog days of the WFA regime. Moved to Wimbledon Ladies after the Cup final but took up a contract offer from Swedish second tier club Lindsdals in spring 1992. She quit Sweden for Croydon to win back her England place and went to the ’95 World Cup where she filled in at full-back. The trophies kept coming in two spells with Croydon and a stint with Arsenal. Also a useful goalkeeper, Mapes is currently one of 25 A-licensed female coaches in England. She was 20 in 1991 and working for a building company.


Sue Law The Lionesses’ Miss reliable who rarely had a bad game since joining from C&C Sports (Brighton) in 1987. Won most of her caps for England (1985–1992) at right-back but played all along Millwall’s backline. She was a 24-year-old development officer and would commute from Eastbourne to play and train with the Lionesses. A succession of back and shoulder injuries disrupted her career, especially after she left to form Bromley Borough in 1991. The cerebral Law currently serves as the FA’s head of equality. Has an incredibly-hard-to-Google name!


Keeley Salvage Committed no-frills centre-half who revelled in her club nickname of ‘Well Hard’. A 20-year-old bookie’s assistant, she honed her crunching tackle in the Lionesses’ youth ranks after joining aged 12. Was on the fringes of England’s under-21 team and had a short spell with Arsenal in 1993–94 before coming home to Millwall and skippering the side. Died tragically young from cancer in 2013.


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Hope Powell Entered the 1991 final as the Lionesses record goalscorer, boasting an incredible 1.25 goals-per-game average in over 200 appearances since joining from school aged 11. She turned 24 that season but was already hit by the knee trouble which slowed her down in her last years as a player. She was recently back from a two-year sojourn with Friends of Fulham, having scored twice in their 1989 Cup final defeat – an individual performance which went down in women’s football lore. Best known as England’s long-serving disciplinarian coach from 1998 to 2013, Powell was always too modest in recalling her own capabilities as a player. Those who played with and against her attest to peerless skill and vision, setting her apart as arguably England’s finest ever female player.


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Debbie Bampton All-action midfielder Bampton was gunning for her third Cup winner’s medal after driving Lowestoft and Howbury Grange to glory in 1982 and 1984. She was 29 and a chauffeur in the City of London. In 1987–88 she played and lost the Italian Cup final with Trani. Bampton’s 19-year England career (1978–1997) stands as an incredible achievement. Adjusted for games played, her 95 caps must be worth around 200 in today’s money. A tireless midfield workhorse but much more than a water-carrier, she habitually scored crucial goals. Left for a season with Wimbledon after the 1991 final, then won a treble with Arsenal in 1992–93. Was player-boss of Croydon from 1994 until 2000.


Maureen Jacobson Kiwi international, 29, who put her career as an accountant on hold to add goals and quality to Millwall’s midfield. She covered every blade of grass and shot from all angles, plundering 67 goals in the Lionesses’ 1989–90 season. ‘Mo’ Overcame injury to play in the 1991 final and went to the historic 1991 Women’s World Cup in China that November with New Zealand. Recently (2012) inducted into Wellington’s Soccer Hall of Fame.


Raeltine Shrieves The club’s reserves captain, who made inroads into the first team ahead of the final. A graduate of Bangor University in Wales, she was 24-years-old and working in financial services. Proud of her Irish roots she dreamed of one day pulling on the famous green shirt. The call never came in football but Shrieves got in on the ground floor when the Irish put together a women’s rugby team a few years later. In the oval ball game she turned out for London Wasps and Richmond as a scrum half. Sister (?) Yvette Shrieves was also a Lionesses stalwart, who spent two seasons as a pro in Italy with Juve Siderno.


Yvonne Baldeo A speedy winger who rejoined Millwall after a spell in Serie A with ACF Milan. Twenty-nine and director of her own sports equipment company, Baldeo famously hit the winning goal in the 1991 final at Prenton Park. A thorn in the side of Doncaster Belles, she had bagged a brace in Howbury Grange’s 4–2 final win over ‘Donny’ in the 1984 final. In September 1993 Baldeo, who had moved on to Wembley, was named on standby for the first ever England squad to be selected by the FA.


Karen Farley (later Farley-Livermore) Big striker on the way back from injury after signing the previous summer from Maidstone Tigresses. A 20-year-old admin assistant, she played for England under-21s and began her career with Ashford Town. Moved on to Sweden after the final and settled in Scandinavia, mastering the lingo and working in the UK embassy while playing for Stockholm giants Hammarby, under player-boss Pia Sundhage. A brilliant header of the ball, Farley’s prolific but inexplicably short England career included the 1995 Women’s World Cup.


Jane Bartley The Lionesses’ record appearance holder, Londoner Bartley had turned out for the club more than 300 times by 1991. She also had some 200 goals, despite a serious knee injury keeping her out for two years from 1987. Joined Millwall at 11 when she and Hope Powell were booted out of their school team, despite the protestations of the male coach. A tall and graceful forward, she played international football for Wales in the days before the FAW took an interest. Was 24 and working in financial services.


Lynne McCormick Bustling pint-sized striker whose searing pace and unerring shot caught defenders off guard. A 22-year-old training officer, ‘Micky’ joined Millwall in 1987 from C&C Sports (Brighton) and had clocked up over 150 goals by 1991.


Anita Dines A blue collar grafter whose willingness and discipline gave a platform for more gifted team mates to flourish. Versatile enough to play at full-back or up front and seemingly a much better player than she gave herself credit for. Signed from Maidstone Tigresses in 1988, Dines’s whole-hearted displays made her a cult figure with the fans and hugely popular in the dressing room. She later hoisted more silverware with Croydon. A hopeless football addict, she was still thundering about for Tower Hamlets Ladies in 2007.


Julie Fletcher Schoolgirl left-back elevated to the first team after just a year with the thirds. She had signed from Elms FC of Catford and was the youngest member of the 1991 squad at 16 years of age. Remained loyal to Millwall and spent a decade at the club, before moving on to Croydon and Arsenal. A county standard cross country runner who later worked as a lifeguard. Made her England debut in 1995.

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Match: Lowestoft 2–0 Cleveland, 1 May 1982, Loftus Road

Loftus Road 1 May 1982 – Lowestoft Ladies 2–0 Cleveland Ladies

Woe for Cleveland as Lowestoft’s Linda Curl and Angie Poppy put a new name on the Women’s FA Cup

Classic match report: Spartans dashed by Waves who secure 1982 WFA Cup

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In May 1982 goals from Linda Curl (26) and Angela Poppy (58) gave Lowestoft their first WFA Cup, at the expense of Cleveland. The event was staged at a Football League ground for the first time, on – topically – a controversial plastic pitch at QPR’s Loftus Road in Shepherd’s Bush, London.

This was the competition’s 12th final and only the second not to feature Southampton WFC, following St Helens’ 1–0 victory over Preston North End at Enfield in 1980. Eleven of the next 12 finals were contested by Doncaster Belles.

Football League whistler Danny Vickers (Ilford) took charge of the 80-minute showpiece, which was sponsored by “TRIMTAPE”. This was an exercise audio cassette tape devised and marketed by lycra-clad dance legend Eileen Fairbane.

Kick-off was at 12.30 pm, prior to promotion-chasing QPR’s 7–1 Second Division win over Bolton Wanderers at 3pm. The men’s match attracted a crowd of 9,995.


Cleveland Ladies – The Spartans

Cleveland Spartans 1982

Cleveland were formed in 1976 as Cleveland Rangers. The Middlesbrough outfit edged out Southampton in an epic semi-final, winning a replay 2–1 after the first game in Hampshire was locked at 1–1 after extra-time.

After getting a bye in the first round, they had seen off Kilnhurst (4–1), Fodens (5–2), Aylesbury (1–0) and BYC Argyle (4–0) to book their place in the semi.

In the WFA’s patchwork regional setup Cleveland had been shoehorned into the Nottingham League (Middlesbrough is nearly 130 miles from Nottingham). There they lived in the shadow of Doncaster Belles.

The club was managed by Andy Neal, the son of Chelsea and ex–Middlesbrough manager John Neal. Experienced campaigner Janet Turner, a science teacher and FA preliminary coach, also took on some coaching responsibilities.

This Janet Turner is not to be confused with her namesake and contemporary who played on the left-wing for St Helens and Crewe and was a hero of England’s Euro 1984 run.

Cleveland’s previous coach John Simms had stood in as the WFA’s England manager for 1979’s unofficial Euro championship in Italy, after Tommy Tranter had left to manage in Iceland.


Lowestoft Ladies – The Waves

Formed in 1971, Lowestoft shared Lowestoft Town men’s Crown Meadow ground and were gunning for a double. They recaptured the South East Women’s League title in 1981–82 and won through to their second WFA Cup final. “The Waves” had lost 1–0 to Southampton in 1979 at Waterlooville.

On 21 March 1981 Lowestoft made history in facing rivals Maidstone at Carrow Road, Norwich, immediately after the Norwich City v Arsenal men’s First Division match. This pioneered the ‘double-header’ and was the first women’s match to share the bill with a Football League game.

Sporting their classic 80s Bukta kit, Lowestoft accounted for Colchester (4–1), Suffolk Bluebirds (7–0), Old Actonians (2–0), Preston North End (3–1) and Doncaster Belles (4–2). Maidstone were edged out 1–0 in a tense semi-final.

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Manager Stewart Reynolds had assembled a strong team, bringing in England internationals Debbie Bampton and Vicky Johnson as close-season signings from Maidstone and Spurs, respectively.

They joined local favourites Angie Poppy and Linda Curl, prolific goalscorers and also both England internationals. The match programme described Poppy, only 28, as a ‘former international’ with five caps.

Young skipper Jackie Slack, a defender, made her England debut a couple of years later at the 1984 Mundialito. Wunderkind centre-back Sallie Ann Jackson, 16, bagged consecutive WFA Cup winner’s medals in 1984, 1985 and 1986 with three different clubs then turned pro with AC Milan.

England midfield powerhouse Debbie Bampton played in this game before taking up an offer to play and coach in Auckland, New Zealand. A broken leg restricted her to coaching and she was back for England’s Euro 84 qualifying campaign.


The Match

The match exploded into life and surged from end-to-end, both teams struggling to adapt to the ridiculous conditions underfoot. QPR’s plastic ‘Omniturf’ was a very early form of the artificial turf which marred the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

LOWESTOFT

1. Rita Fossey

2. Mary Hinson

3. Jackie Slack (c)

4. Vicky Johnson (out 78′)

5. Sallie Jackson

6. Kim Blowers

7. Angie Poppy

8. Deborah Bampton

9. Shirley Jones (out 69′)

10.Linda Curl

11.Julie Bolton

Substitutes:

12.Avril Nolloth (in 69′)

13.Kate Purdom (in 78′)

14.Hannah Davidson

Coach: Stewart Reynolds

CLEVELAND

Janice Elliott .1

Pamela Williams .2

Anna Citro .3

Marrie Wieczorek .4

Denise Markham .5

Susan Anderson .6

(out 69′) (c) Ann Duffy .7

Margaret Anderson .8

Jane Hughes .9

Teresa Murphy.10

Julie Tomlinson.11

Substitutes:

Jane Laugher.12

Janet Turner.13

(in 69′) Carol Wickham.14

Julie Hogan.15

Coach: Andy Neal

Lowestoft’s defence closely watched Cleveland crackshot Jane Hughes, who had plundered 22 goals that season and hit the semi-final winner over Southampton.

On 26 minutes Lowestoft’s class told and Linda Curl, one of the finest penalty-box predators English football has ever seen, scored a typical opportunist goal.

Cleveland’s tireless full-back Anna Citro, an England basketball player who toiled at Middlesbrough’s ICI factory in her day job, enjoyed a titanic struggle with Lowestoft counterpart Vicky Johnson.

Marrie “Maz” Wieczorek gave a typically whole-hearted midfield performance for Cleveland. The club’s reigning Player of the Year, she collected three caps for England in 1980 and became Cleveland’s first international player.

Gritty northerners Cleveland kept battling to stem the tide but were undone again on 58 minutes when Poppy turned in a corner from the right.

Both teams fought on with determination and aggression, with no quarter asked or given. On 69 minutes Lowestoft’s Shirley Jones was carried off on a stretcher, nursing a broken collarbone.

Former FA secretary Sir Denis Follows was on hand to present the trophy to Waves captain Jackie Slack. Women’s football lost a great friend and ally when Sir Denis died the following year.

Cathy Gibb’s match report in the WFA News said of gallant runners-up Cleveland:

Left bitterly dejected and reflecting on what might have been, the North-East losers Cleveland contributed to a game that perhaps failed to reach the capable heights of a classic cup final but in fact won the hearts of many new sporting friends in the world of professionalism.


Post–match

The victorious Lowestoft team were granted a civic reception at Lowestoft Town Hall. There they were warmly greeted by Waveney District Council’s first female chair Daphne Mellor.

Romance blossomed between bearded Lowestoft boss Stew Reynolds and goalscorer Angie Poppy. Their son Carl Poppy had football in his genes and turned out for Lowestoft Town at Wembley in the 2008 FA Vase final.

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This was the high-water mark for Lowestoft, who rapidly hit the skids. The team spectacularly failed to defend their trophy, being crushed 7–0 by Warminster in the fourth round of the 1982–83 competition. Instead Doncaster Belles scooped their first Cup at Sincil Bank and built a dynasty by reaching 11 of the next 12 finals.

Lowestoft Ladies reformed in 2011 and currently play in the Eastern Region Premier Division. In January 2015 the ’82 squad held a reunion at the current team’s FA Women’s Cup tie with Luton, inspiring their young counterparts to a famous 2–1 win.

At some point Cleveland formally linked up with Middlesbrough FC and became Middlesbrough Ladies. Stalwart Maz Wieczorek stayed involved and served the club for many years as manager and honorary president. She famously led the club on a historic tour to North Korea in 2010. They are currently scrapping for points in Division One (North) of the FA Women’s Premier League.


Photos

1. Cleveland’s Anna Citro (left) kicks across Vicky Johnson of Lowestoft (right) during the match.
2. Cleveland’s cup final squad. Back (L–R): Jane Laugher, Margaret Anderson, Pamela Williams, Susan Anderson, Caroline Wickham, Jane Hughes, Denise Markham, Kim Moore. Front (L–R): Teresa Murphy, Julie Hogan, Anna Citro, Janet Turner, Marrie Wisczorek, Ann Duffy (captain), Janice Elliott, Gillian Hood.
3. Jubilant Lowestoft players on their lap of honour.
4. Statuesque Lowestoft skipper Jackie Slack hoists the famous Women’s FA trophy.