Alan Pattullo: Rose Reilly deserves the belated attention

A documentary about Rose Reilly, Scotland’s most successful female footballer, was shown for the first time in a cinema in Glasgow this week.

Rose Reilly was a star in Italian football. Picture: Robert Perry
Rose Reilly was a star in Italian football. Picture: Robert Perry

It might not get quite the widespread attention a film about Diego Maradona is getting, but then Rose didn’t fall out with the director and denounce the entire project following a Cannes premiere.

Maradona has already taken issue with his film’s subtitle, which includes the word Hustler. Rose’s film has no subtitle. It’s called, simply, Rose Reilly, and will air on BBC Alba a week tomorrow.

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While she did also star in Italy, the protagonist is not the type to point a loaded gun at journalists – as Maradona once did. The tension is reserved for her battles with Scottish football’s myopic authorities: “Don’t you dare better yourself hen or we’ll ban you,” is how she sums up their outlook in the 1970s and ’80s.

The film is fascinating to watch at a time when there is so much positivity now surrounding the women’s game. Tuesday’s World Cup warm-up against Jamaica will break the record for highest crowd at a women’s game in Scotland many times over.

Rose Reilly deserves all the attention she is belatedly getting in her home country.