Girls' football team's good luck message to England World Cup star Lucy Bronze
A school’s girls’ football team has sent a good luck message to local hero Lucy Bronze and invited her to visit them once her World Cup exploits are over.
The all-female team at Whittingham Church of England Primary School, near Alnwick, only formed last year and look upon the former pupil at the nearby Duchess’s Community High School as an inspiration.
With World Cup fever rising – England’s Lionesses play Norway in the tournament’s quarter-finals tomorrow – the school has wished her good luck in letters sent to her via Wembley Stadium.
The team also hope the tough-tackling defender can visit them to pass on training tips once the competition in France is finished.
Headteacher Belinda Athey: “She is such an inspiration and everyone here is really enjoying the tournament. The profile of the women’s game is just so higher than it used to be and it helps that the matches are on proper television at a decent time for everyone to watch.”
Girls played in a mixed team until last year when the school decided to hold all-female training sessions.
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Mrs Athey said: “Some of the girls said they were more likely to play football if there were just training sessions for girls. You know how it is, boys have generally played football since a younger age and think they are better than the girls although that is not necessarily the case.
“It has proved popular given that 45 out of 50 of our Key Stage Two pupils between the ages of eight and 11 are girls.”
Seven-a-side matches against South Northumberland schools and friendlies against others in the Alnwick area will culminate in a competition at Whittingham on Friday.
Berwick-born Bronze, 27, started her junior footballing career at Alnwick Town before joining Blyth and later starred for Sunderland Everton, Liverpool, and Manchester City. She now plays for French side Olympique Lyon and is a regular starter at right-back for Phil Neville’s England side.
Mrs Athey said: “We have wished her good luck on Facebook and got a thumbs up back. Hopefully that will lead to her finding time to visit us and we would just like to wish her all the best.”