Pioneering Scottish women footballers banned by SFA to be presented with caps by Nicola Sturgeon

Rose Reilly played in the first Scotland women's international. Picture: Robert Perry
Rose Reilly played in the first Scotland women's international. Picture: Robert Perry
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First Minister Nicola Sturgeon says she will be delighted to finally present four players from the first-ever Scotland women’s national team with their long-awaited caps at Hampden tonight.

When a match against England was played at Greenock’s Ravenscraig Stadium in 1972, the SFA refused to recognise women’s football and banned it from being staged at member clubs’ grounds.

Now, nearly 50 years later, the quartet will receive their caps, plus crystalware, from the First Minister.

“Ahead of the Scotland women’s national team playing in their first World Cup finals it is an honour to present these awards to the women who have gone before them,” Sturgeon said.

“It’s time we recognised the pioneers of the women’s game and gave them the recognition they deserved.”

The four players - Rose Reilly, Margaret McAuley, Linda Kidd and Jean Stewart - will also meet current head coach Shelley Kerr ahead of the World Cup send-off game against Jamaica this evening.

A record crowd in excess of 20,000 for a women’s match in Scotland is expected.

“I don’t think many people realise how difficult it was, back then, to be involved in the women’s game,” Kerr pointed out.

“You had so many barriers. Every single player from that era has a story to tell – not all positives.”

Five other members of the 1972 side cannot attend, while two have passed away.