More on Hailes United Ladies FC following last week’s post about their Italy Cup win.
That triumph followed on from the team competing with distinction in two international tournaments the previous year.
First there was the Gothia Cup in Sweden where Hailes won their first match 11-0 (yes, eleven – nil) and got to the quarter finals before losing to the eventual runners up.
Then, it was Denmark and the Dania Cup where, again, they reached the quarter finals. Unfortunately, in that match, they could only field 10 players due to injuries but despite that, took the game into extra time before finally succumbing to superior numbers. The Sentinel reported that the captain of the opposing team presented her winning medal to the Hailes girls as a mark of her admiration for their fighting spirit.
Then, in March 1989 they made history by winning the first ever woman’s Scottish Junior 5-a- side competition after a penalty shoot-out.
All this was made even more creditable by the fact that the individual players themselves often had to help raise the funds that would allow the team to compete in major tournaments. In the case of the Italy Cup, each girl had to raise £225 in order to be able to make the trip to Verona. The fact that this was achieved is a tribute to the commitment and enthusiasm of all the players and the generous contributions from many local organisations and businesses that rallied round to support them.