It’s still fresh in the memory – England women have won Euro 2022. It’s a historic feat achieved by the Lionesses but there have been several hurdles to overcome along the way.
Just your daily reminder that we are EUROPEAN CHAMPIONS 😎🏆 pic.twitter.com/XEAUiOEemf
— Lionesses (@Lionesses) August 2, 2022
From Being Banned to England Women Success At Euro 2022
How It Started
Just over 100 years ago, the Football Association in their infinite wisdom banned women from playing football. The game was considered unsuitable for ladies.
That was despite the success of the legendary Dick, Kerr Ladies, a Preston-based club that once played before 50,000 fans at Goodison Park in 1920.
Perhaps the FA were jealous? Their narrow-minded restriction would last over 50 years.
Fast forward a century and the world is certainly a much different place. Even at the Football Association, where the chairperson is now a lady, Debbie Hewitt.
After England women triumphed at Euro 2022, nobody is now considering banning them from playing the beautiful game.
But such past setbacks did mean the development of the women’s game in England took some time to progress.
Indeed professionalism only arrived in the Women’s Super League in 2018, some ten years after its creation.
That undoubtedly raised the standards and also attracted top players from around the world.
That Super League and also a European Champions League replicated the men’s successful formula.
England Women Triumph at Euro 2022
Having done well in past World Cups and Euros and with a strong squad, they would go into the Euro 2022 tournament as one of the favourites.
Under Sarina Wiegman’s management, the Lionesses eased through their group beating past champions Norway 8-0 along the way.
They would need a late equaliser from Ella Toone and an extra-time winner from Barrow’s Georgia Stanway to get past Spain.
Before a strong second-half performance, enjoyed by an ecstatic Sheffield crowd, they dealt with Sweden in the semis.
This left a familiar foe, Germany, to defeat at a sold-out Wembley.
Perhaps inevitably the match had echoes of past final dramas with Lina Magull replacing Wolfgang Weber as the German hero.
Who knows if Sarina Wiegman used Alf Ramsey’s words, to win it again, in the huddle before extra-time began? But win it they did. Thanks to Chloe Kelly’s determination.
Echoes of 1966
England Women’s triumph at Euro 2022 was almost 56 years to the day since England won their only other senior football title.
Watched by a record crowd of 87,000 at Wembley and a substantial TV audience the result triggered massive celebrations around the country.
Certainly, it was an experience both a lot more joyous, heart-warming, and without the nastiness and chaos of the last men’s Euros final.
Inspiring for Future Generations
There is no question the England players will be an inspiration for many children, including the thousands present at Wembley on that warm evening in late July.
For them, it will be unforgettable. Expect more girls to be called Chloe.
Quite rightly, the discussion should turn to better appreciation and compensation for female professional footballers. As nobody would now consider banning women from playing football.