Her enduring love of the beautiful game was stoked when her beloved older brother, Kev, took her to watch matches at Old Trafford, even the three-hour journey didn’t deter them. She lapped up the spectacle on the pitch and the tumultuous atmosphere generated by a full stadium. Such was the legacy that she listened to United’s games broadcast live on radio Piccadilly dressed in replica kit and with scarves tied around each wrist.
Mandy’s passion for playing the game has not diminished either and her ‘street football’ education paid off as she is a well-respected competitor against the men at Salford Community and Prestwich Maccabi walking football games.
She says: “When I play in competitions at Heywood there are probably eighty guys and three females, but it doesn’t seem to matter as you’re soon engrossed in the game, chasing the ball, trying to make the right decisions. Although I do have doubts occasionally, it’s lovely to play in team sports with like-minded people; far better than slogging around on your own.
“I think it would be great, however, if we could get ladies playing football inclusively, so that, for example, religious people for whom mixed sport is not an option can participate.”
Mandy and friends George Marsh and Eric Lloyd have arranged initial funding to host a trial of ten sessions exclusively for ladies at Radcliffe Borough’s ground on Sundays between 11am-12 noon with tea and biscuits afterwards providing a chance to chat and meet new friends. For those aged 50 and above it will be walking football.
Mandy added: “I would encourage women to come out and just give it a go, get a bit fitter, meet new people and have some fun. What’s not to like?”
If you are interested in playing football contact George Marsh on 07979 903 090 for further details.