Chorley footballer is recognised by National Football Museum

Sheila Parker in her footballing days
Sheila Parker in her footballing days

A pioneering female footballer from Chorley is being honoured in a new display at the National Football Museum.

Sheila Parker made history in 1972 when she was selected to captain the WFA’s first England team, just a year after a ban was lifted on women playing on FA-affiliated pitches.

Sheila Parker's memorabilia is on display at the National Football Museum

Sheila Parker's memorabilia is on display at the National Football Museum

She also had a successful club career, playing for clubs including Preston North End Ladies, Chorley Ladies and Dick, Kerr Ladies.

Sheila, now 67, was recognised in 2013 when she was inducted into the Manchester-based museum’s hall of fame.

And for the first time, memorabilia from her playing days is in a display celebrating women in football to tie in with the women’s World Cup.

Sheila, of Buchanan Street, Chorley, said: “There is a shirt, my scarf, a picture of me and my son, my first three England caps and hopefully a shield with another 30 caps on.”

“More than ever people are tuning in. But women have been playing football for hundreds of years and women like Sheila have been pioneering the game and doing exceptionally well for years. We wanted to give our visitors a taste of that.”

Sally Hawley

Sheila gave the memorabilia to the museum after being inducted into the hall of fame.

She plans to see the display in July and it will be there until September.

Sheila, who has worked at TVS Supply Chain Solutions in Chorley for more than 40 years, said: “People can see it now and see what it was like so many years ago.

“I’m looking forward to seeing it.”

Sally Hawley, collections officer at the museum, said she wanted to celebrate “inspirational” women in football as the women’s World Cup gets more attention than ever.

She continued: “More than ever people are tuning in.

“But women have been playing football for hundreds of years and women like Sheila have been pioneering the game and doing exceptionally well for years.

“We wanted to give our visitors a taste of that.”