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England’s first official women’s team to be awarded caps recognising 1972 match
November will mark 50 years since the 1972 Lionesses played the country’s first official international match.
England Women’s first official team are to be recognised with bespoke caps later this year, the Football Association has revealed.
The 1972 Lionesses are to have the 50th anniversary of their 3-2 win over Scotland celebrated this autumn and will attend a fixture of the current side, who have reached the quarter-finals of this summer’s home European Championships.
Sarina Wiegman’s team have captured the imagination of the public already, especially after an 8-0 victory over Norway on Monday, but the FA has faced criticism for its failure to recognise the first official England squad at Euro 2022 this month.
A number of former players from the 1972 Lionesses have expressed their disappointment in a string of interviews with the i newspaper, with a specific focus on no official caps being handed out to the group, who played in front of 400 people at Ravenscraig Stadium in Greenock almost 50 years ago.
But an FA spokesperson told the PA news agency: “We have been working on a project to recognise and celebrate all former internationals, which will coincide with the 50th anniversary of the England Women’s team in October/November 2022, and it will become a key focus area following the ongoing UEFA Women’s Euro.
“It has always been our intention to invite all former internationals to attend an England Women’s fixture in the autumn where they will be honoured, and we are also committed to awarding them with bespoke caps.”
Caps will be given to the 1972 Lionesses at an autumn England fixture, with their Scottish counterparts receiving their own caps back in 2019.
The issue was highlighted again on Thursday by Labour MP Barbara Keeley in the House of Commons after she called on the FA to award official caps to every woman who played in the game with Scotland.
Lynda Hale, who scored for England in Greenock on November 18, 1972, said in an interview recently that while the squad are described as trailblazers, they have not been recognised for it.
“Our biggest gripe is we would like an official cap from the FA,” Hale told the i.
“It’s come to light that when the men get picked for the first time to play for England, they get a number showing how many have played before them.
“In which case we would also like recognition of that. I think that’s something to be proud of. We’re called trailblazers but we’re not recognised.”
The FA will make sure that is changed later this year when the 1972 Lionesses do receive bespoke caps to honour their appearance in the first official England Women’s international match.
England are set to play Austria and Luxembourg in World Cup qualifiers in September but no fixtures have been finalised yet to take place in October or November.