How Jill Scott's rise is encouraging more girls into football in Sunderland

Girl from St Benet's primary school have been competing in the Jill Scott cup since 2019 and were inspired by her, I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Outta Here! win. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees
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A generation of young footballers are following the example of former Lioness Jill Scott - and say her victory in I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Outta Here! has inspired them even more.

Girls from St Benet's Primary School, in Roker, who have been playing in the Jill Scott Cup football league since 2019, are proud of their idol following her performance on and off the pitch.

The league was set up by their teacher Tom Rose, who used to play football with Jill.

Following her I'm A Celebrity win, he told ITV Tyne Tees: "I think the biggest thing with her is her team working and how humble she is, when you see her on the telly.

"When I was younger I used to play football, the odd time, with her because a lot of my friends went to the same school as her and she is exactly the same now as she was then.

"She hasn’t let anything go to her head after winning the Euros."

Tom Rose said he used to play football with Jill Scott when he was younger. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees News

He added: "Last night when she won I'm a Celebrity she was saying 'everyone’s a winner' and that's the type of person she is. She brings everyone together and I think that’s why she was so important at the Euros this year, as much as a figurehead as an actual player

"She's definitely an ambassador for Sunderland.

"I think when people talk about Jill you never hear a bad word about her because of that personality shining through and everyone she meets likes her.

"That's just testament to her personality."

The Jill Scott cup is a tournament for girl's football in primary schools across Sunderland, with more than 20 teams entered this year.

Some of the players told ITV Tyne Tees what they think about the former Lionesses winning I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Outta Here! last night.

Georgie Rodda, 10, said: "She’s just got a bright personality, she’s always happy, cracking jokes, she's really inspirational and I just love that.

Georgie Rodda said she thinks Jill Scott has a bright personality. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees News

"I’ve played at Boldon and she played at Boldon. It just shows where she can get from being so small to so big.”

Isla Wyness, 10, said: “She’s just so funny. I liked the bit in yesterday’s episode where she was spinning the star with her tongue and there were rats next to her and it was really good because she’s scared of rats.

"She’s just overcome her fear and she’s just really brave for doing that."

Isla Wyness said she thinks Jill Scott is really brave. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees News.

Holly Brown, 11, said: "She’s got a funny personality and she’s very inspiring and I know that she’s very creative with what she wants to do and she inspires little children.

"She makes me want to be a better person."

Former England footballer, Jill Scott, won the latest series of I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Outta Here! on Sunday, after reaching the final with Hollyoaks star Owen Warner and former health secretary Matt Hancock.

Jill was born in Sunderland and began her footballing career with Sunderland Women.

Over the years, she made 161 appearances for the Lionesses in total, including in several World Cup games.

In June 2022, Scott was included in the England squad which made history by winning the UEFA Women's Euros.

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