England great Sheila Parker honoured 50 years after making football history

Sheila spoke to ITV Granada's Mike Hall at the unveiling of her plaque.

Sheila Parker is one of the most important figures in women's football.

In 1972 she was named the first player to captain England Women in an international match. They beat Scotland 3-2.

Fifty years on, that landmark moment is being celebrated in her home town of Chorley with a plaque in her honour.

Sheila first kicked a football on the streets that back on to the club's Victory Park stadium.

"I used to kick a ball on my own and the lads saw me and they asked me if I'd like to join in their team," said Sheila.

"When they saw me doing sliding tackles they were mesmerised."

Sheila Parker with her commemorative plaque at Chorley Football Club Credit: ITV Granada

At just 13 years of age Sheila signed for the famous Dick, Kerr Ladies. She later joined Chorley Ladies.

In 1971, the ban that prevented women's football fixtures being played on FA pitches was lifted. A year later, a 24-year-old Sheila was selected for the first official WFA England squad.

She was handed the captain's armband for the first official fixture against Scotland in 1972 which England won 3-2.

She remained captain until 1976.

Today Sheila remains an inspiration to many - including her own granddaughter, Chloe, who plays for Fleetwood Town.

"When I started playing football in primary school, the first person I wanted to tell was my grandma," said Chloe.

"She's the reason I play football because seeing what she's achieved makes me want to achieve that."

Chloe Parker and her grandmother Sheila Credit: ITV Granada

The plaque unveiling is part of the “Where Greatness is Made” campaign run by Nationwide and England Football, celebrating some of the most prominent team Lioness captains from 1972 to 2022 - from Sheila Parker to Steph Houghton.

It is part of the countdown to this summer's European Championships, being held in England.