Wimmins Football, or just Football?

Andy Munro on a successful Blues team.

As a Blues fan, it was great to see the team bring home the FA Cup even if it was the female version – not least because one of the stars was Old Sparkhillian Karen Carney, whose dad used to live opposite me when I was at school. Mind you, if Karen was a chap she would, of course, be worth millions and be playing for Manchester City.

Now I have to say that I’m of an age when I knew football as a game for blokes, both playing and watching. My first inkling that there was a female version came in the late sixties when I was travelling to a Blues away match and found myself sitting next to a rather attractive girl called Jane, hailing from Solihull, who told me that she played for Beau Brummie ‘Ladies’ even though, I’m afraid my thoughts at that moment were somewhat removed from the football field.

Then, at work, I joined a large office and it was decided to organise a womens’ charity football competition. Why else, in those days, would you involve the female species? I remember volunteering to coach one of the sides and I’m afraid to say that the hardest job was to stop the back four chatting to each other instead of focussing on the play – and needless to say I didn’t even contemplate getting them to play the off side rule. I also remember an extremely attractive centre forward who, to paraphrase a song, ‘looked good on the dance floor’ but her co-ordination on the footie pitch resembled Ziggy on one of his bad days.

Things are, of course, different in these more enlightened days and womens football is serious stuff although I suppose that I’m still glad the final obstacle of allowing mixed adult football remains. I still play fives twice a week and at one of the sessions a girl occasionally comes along for a game. Perhaps I’m old-fashioned (or just old) but instead of steaming in in my usual way, it ends up rather disorientatedly in an ‘after you Claudette’ scenario.

Having said all that, it has to be congratulations all around to the Blues women as they have done something the Blues men failed to do and that’s beat Chelsea in the FA Cup.