Gill Coultard

iCanPlay: Gill Coultard MBE Q&A

Gillian Coultard MBE from Thorne was the first woman to reach 100 caps for England. This is her story.

Tell us about how and why you got involved in playing football?

I come from a family of 8 and been the youngest I always was playing football with my brothers.

Where we lived was 2 greens and we were always playing football and cricket.

Who have you played football for from the start of your journey to the end?

I played at all my schooling with the boys team until I went to Thorne Grammar School where they wouldn’t let me play.

My teacher at Green Lane Middle School got in touch with Doncaster Belles when I was 13 and that’s where my journey started.

I got my 1st call-up to England just after I joined.

I also played for Rowntree Ladies from York before returning to Belles.

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Gill playing for England

What did you enjoy about playing football?

I enjoyed the team environment and Belles and Rowntrees both certainly had that.

What are your greatest achievements in playing football and why?

There’s quite a few:

• 1st female to reach 100 caps for England
• Captaining England
• Scoring at Wembley 
• Scoring at the 1995 World Cup


How does it feel to be the first woman to reach 100 caps for England?


I still look back of all my achievements and can’t believe what I have achieved.

New things even now keep popping up.


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Gill with her MBE

What were the biggest obstacles you faced when playing football?

The usual “women shouldn’t be playing” or other derogatory remarks but we as players just got on with it due to our love of playing.

Who had the biggest influence on you as a footballer and why?

There are too many to mention, those people out there know who they are.

What advice would you give to people thinking about getting involved in football?

Follow your dreams.

I dreamt of paying for England and scoring at Wembley.

I did all that and more, a young girl from Thorne.



Play football in West Riding

watch the lionesses at elland road