The mother of the current darling of English football has spoken of her pride after her daughter scored a historic winner at the World Cup.
Alnwick’s Lucy Bronze fired in the winning goal against Norway in Ottawa, Canada, on Monday night as England broke their curse and won a World Cup knockout game for the first time.
Speaking to the Gazette last night, mum Diane described the goal – and the reaction to it back in north Northumberland and England as a whole – as ‘unbelievable’. “I don’t really remember how I reacted,” she said. “I think we all just jumped up and screamed.
“I’m choking up just thinking about it now because she’s worked so hard, had to travel so far and had so many obstacles, but she just loves football.
“As a defender, we don’t normally get that – she’s not a noted goalscorer! She rang me after the game and, as you saw on the interview after the match, she was speaking really quickly, which she doesn’t normally do, so I think the adrenalin was still flowing.”
Lucy started her junior career playing for Belford in the Glendale League before moving on to Alnwick Town Juniors until the rules dictated that she wasn’t allowed to play with the boys after Under 11.
Diane said: “I didn’t like football at that point, but that was the start – when they said my daughter couldn’t do something because she was a girl.”
Luckily Blyth Town had a girls’ team and from there she moved to the academy at Sunderland – which also produced fellow internationals Steph Houghton, Jill Scott and Jordan Nobbs.
And this World Cup seems to have marked a new high in support for, and the visibility of, the women’s game.
Diane said: “I can’t believe the coverage, the people who are watching it. It can always be more of course, but when they won the U19 Euros, they were European champions and it was not reported in England, apart from by the Gazette. That was in 2009.”
Next up is a quarter-final against hosts Canada in the early hours of Sunday morning in Vancouver (UK time).
“If they win on Saturday, my daughter and I are going,” she said. “I have got 24 hours to buy a ticket and get on a plane.
“When I realised that there’s a genuine chance of them getting to a World Cup final, I just couldn’t miss it.”