Tuktuk Day 141

So, yesterday was all about FC Deportivo Galicia and today we are back to the women’s game. What a healthy state it is in in 2024! Clare at She Can Kick It has sent me her newsletter and as always I am happy to share.

News: Frantic article writing & the book moves on

The last couple of weeks have seen me frantically writing articles for The Women’s Football Magazine (TWFM). This month is one of those where the quarterly print issue coincides with the monthly digital issue, so there’s lots to do.

After speaking to several girls’ teams, I wrote 2000-words about what’s next for girls’ grassroots football. We have the interest, but is the infrastructure there to support it? The short answer is no. The longer answer can be found in the July print edition of the magazine out in a few weeks. [https://thewomensfootballmagazine.com/]

My editor then asked me to write a short piece on the good, the bad, and the ugly of women’s football – she sensibly gave me licence to make it longer if I felt inclined to rant. She gets me!
Then there’s a 1000-word article on Reading Women for the digital issue, a player profile of Lauren James, and my monthly column on being an Accidental Coach.

All that hasn’t left much time to write my book but that’s OK, because I’ve finished the first draft! I’m sure I’ll add a couple of bits here and there but in my mind, I’ve officially moved onto the editing stage. Whoop whoop.

The first edit pass will be to decide on the order of info I give in the chapters and to make sure it flows.

Flo Bilton: unsung hero of women’s football in England.

History: Flo Bilton

Flo Bilton was instrumental in the setting up of the Women's Football Association (WFA), but her first administrative role was putting together a factory team in Hull in 1963. She started the team at Reckitt & Colman so they could play another local team, Smith & Nephew. Despite by then being in her 40s, she also played in goal for the team.

In 1968, she helped form Hull Women's FA and then in 1969 the WFA. She continued with the WFA until 1993 when it moved under the control of the FA.

Flo played a big role in the early England teams too. In a bid to ensure they were awarded caps like the men's team, she borrowed a cap from a neighbour and worked out how to make them for the women.

She also helped young players on their football journeys. One of these was Carol Thomas, England captain at the 1984 Euros and the first woman to 50 caps. When I spoke to her recently, it was clear she was still very grateful for all Flo had done for her.

My footballing story: University Football

My official playing career was very short. The only option available to me when I was younger was playing in the park or on the school playground. But when I went to university in the mid-1990s, a whole new world was open to me.

I dutifully wandered around the Fresher's Fair, knowing full well my shy persona wasn't matched to signing up for a load of exciting and vibrant clubs. Meeting new people in new circumstances was excruciating for me. Then I found the women's football club. Social discomfort was one thing, but being able to play football in a team of women, well, that trumped the shyness. I signed up. After a few weeks of training, we played our first match. Inexplicably, I got put on the wing (I'm not the quickest). I had fun and we won, but I don't remember much about it really - which is a shame, especially as it was the only match I played. It soon became clear that some trouble with my knee was going to make playing difficult, and now I'm ashamed to say I gave up without much of a fight. I didn't get my knee looked into and I didn't try hard enough to overcome my social awkwardness around the other players. It was over before it started. 

I try not to have regrets, we make decisions based on the info we have at the time, but this one would be very close.

As always, I'd love to hear from you. You can get in touch on Facebook

So, that's goodbye (and a good buy) from her and goodbye from me but before I go....

Please remember that the purpose of this 180 day challenge is to raise funds for Prostate Cancer and an equal amount for FC Deportivo Galicia. As always, I do hope that you are all enjoying this digital tour of the UK and that you will consider a donation to support FC Deportivo Galicia

If everybody chipped in with just £1, I would easily hit my target of £10,000 and life would be easier at the club.

A HEARTFELT thanks, if you can donate or sponsor. If you can’t, any shares of this site or even this post would be gratefully received.

Thanks again.

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