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England Women: Carol Thomas talks about being the first to reach 50 caps

World Cup 2022

England Women: Carol Thomas

Former England Women player Carol Thomas recently opened up about the change in the landscape of women’s football and has offered advice to current captain Leah Williamson. At just 20, she took over the captaincy from Sheila Parker and held onto the armband from 1976 to 1985. Thomas made her debut in 1974 and went on to become the first player to reach 50 caps for the country.

“My dad played local football in Hull, and I had an older brother. He came along and I was kicking a ball for as long as I could remember,” England Women player Carol Thomas said. “Along came the ’66 World Cup, I was 11 then. Obviously, that influenced me a lot. Luckily, in Hull we had our own works league at the time, there was a lady living near me who played for one of them and she invited me to go and join their team. And especially as the ban was still on in that time – the ban from women playing football wasn’t lifted until 1971 – and we weren’t allowed to play on affiliated pitches. So, we played on parks and works grounds wherever there were posts.”

“It helped a lot because I went on the first-ever women’s coaching course at Lilleshall. There would be about 15 or 20 of us, I think. And I was lucky enough to be only one of three that passed that course. So, I was one of the first FA women’s coaches,” she added. “It was the beginning of the Pony international championships, which was the home international championships. And we were playing Scotland and Wales and on the night before Wales played Scotland, [Tommy Tranter] pulled me to one side and said he was going to make me captain. I was over the moon. Absolutely.”

Also, Read England Women: Sheila Parker Gives Her Advice To Leah Williamson

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