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Inverness woman to be recognised as a Scottish football pioneer


By Alasdair Fraser

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Therese Coffey.
Therese Coffey.

A retired Inverness woman is to be recognised as a Scottish football pioneer at a ceremony at Hampden Park on Tuesday night.

Almost 50 years on, Therese Coffey, of Clachnaharry, will be awarded a retrospective Scotland cap for playing in the November 1974 victory against Ireland at Kilbowie Park in Clydebank, at the age of just 16.

The mum and grandmother has spoken of her pride at the award which will be presented to her and other previously unrecognised woman internationals before Scotland’s Nations League match against England.

In a full interview with the Courier – to be published online this evening – she also detailed the prejudice and abuse she and her Dunfermline Ladies team-mates faced as female players in 1970s Scotland.

A letter from SFA chief executive Ian Maxwell, the former Ross County defender, said the cap presentation an hour before kick-off was “in recognition and celebration of playing for your country.”

The letter added: “We are delighted to be able to be able to recognise your part in shaping our history.”

Therese Coffey is to be awarded a retrospective Scotland cap almost 50 years after playing in a women's international against Northern Ireland.
Therese Coffey is to be awarded a retrospective Scotland cap almost 50 years after playing in a women's international against Northern Ireland.

Ms Coffey, who worked as a publisher, a social worker and psychiatric nurse after graduating from university, moving to Inverness in 2005, said: “It feels like quite a pinnacle for me. We’ve all done things we’re proud of, but this is it for me.

“There’s now tangible proof in the historian’s research. It has been nearly 50 years and in all that time, I’ve mentioned playing for Scotland to very few people. I can mention it now.”

She will attend Hampden with daughter Claire and partner Juliet, and added: “A lot of the ladies have passed away since then because many worked in factories, in poverty, really but still played football such was their dedication.

“So many are not here with us anymore, which adds a really poignant note to ceremonies like the one at Hampden Park.”


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