Tees

Honour for Middlesbrough women's football team

Middlesbrough Ladies with the award
Image caption Middlesbrough Ladies visited North Korea in September

The manager of a women's football team has received a mayoral honour following a visit to one of the world's most secret societies.

During a trip to North Korea, Middlesbrough Ladies played local teams and held children's coaching sessions.

Marrie Wieczorek was awarded an Elected Mayor's Award at a Town Hall ceremony.

Ray Mallon said her commitment and enthusiasm had opened up football to "countless girls and young women, and changed many lives for the better".

Ms Wieczorek joined the former Cleveland Spartans aged 19 in 1976 and became manager in the mid-90s.

Her career highlights include playing for England against Belgium in 1980, and reaching the 1982 FA Cup Final.

'Richly deserved'

Ray Mallon said: "The trip to North Korea was the chance of a lifetime and Marrie and the team got an opportunity that not many westerners get.

"But it was also an opportunity to strengthen an important bond that dates back to the World Cup of 1966, and help ensure good relations continue into the future.

"Marrie and the team are great ambassadors for this town and the region as a whole, and that's why this award is so richly deserved."

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