Watching women’s football in a hotel bar

// 28 September 2013

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This week I found myself away from home, and therefore not able to watch England v Turkey in the World Cup qualifier, screened live on BBC Three.

Without wifi, I couldn’t stream it either, so I braved a hotel bar.

I was the only woman there as various lone scattered men ate their dinner, occasionally glancing up at the big screen (showing The One Show).

So I took the risk, crept up to the TV, and asked, “Does anyone mind if I put the football on?”

There were a couple of shrugs, so I switched it over. Immediately, one man at the front brightened up.

“Oh! It’s the England game! Didn’t realise this was on now. Who do you think is going to replace Hope Powell as coach?” he asked me.

As Ellen White scored the sixth goal of the evening, a glorious header shortly before half-time, an older man came over to me.

“She took that well!” he said, and proceeded to ask me about the FA Women’s Super League, what teams they played for, how I thought they’d do in the rest of qualifying – and, of course, who I thought would replace Hope Powell as coach.

And I thought, not for the first time, how nice it is that sport can bring complete strangers together; and went home pleasantly surprised and happily reassured that women’s football is, little by little, edging into the mainstream and beginning to gather the respect it deserves.

Comments From You

Laura // Posted 28 September 2013 at 6:11 pm

Lovely :)

Carrie // Posted 30 September 2013 at 2:00 pm

That’s great to hear.

On a side note my partner and I were in Stockhom in July and he bought us tickets for the Women’s Euro final at Solna. The crowd was 40,000+, even though the Swedes themselves didn’t make the final. My experience was that it was such an enjoyable and friendly occasion. In front of us was a Swedish man with his two daughters, behind us two German men and next to me a Norwegian man by himself. We all talked to each other and the atmosphere was really positive and pleasant.

Carrie Dunn // Posted 30 September 2013 at 3:00 pm

I didn’t want to mention the Tam Cowan piece because it was so clearly written to garner more web hits. His apology today is interesting though.

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