Woman seeks football team 50 years after her first appeal

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Judy Collins holds a footballImage source, Age UK
Image caption,
Judy Collins wants other women to join her at Age UK's North Tyneside Walking Football group

A woman is seeking fellow female footballers to join her team 50 years after making a similar appeal.

Judy Collins, 67, tried to set up a girls' football side in the 1970s but it failed as she was unable to find opposition.

Now the retired teacher from Cullercoats is encouraging women to join her walking football group.

The Age UK North Tyneside's Women's Walking Football group meets every Wednesday in Whitley Bay.

Ms Collins was not allowed to play football at school because girls were only permitted to take part in netball or hockey.

Having grown up playing football with her brothers she loved the game so, in 1971 at the age of 17, she put an appeal in the local press to find other female players.

Image source, Age UK
Image caption,
Judy Collins put an appeal in the local press in 1971 to find female footballers

"It's ridiculous we were not allowed to play really," said Ms Collins, who is now a lollipop lady.

Her team attracted 15 players but it disbanded when they were unable to find opposition.

"It was very disappointing because we all enjoyed playing," she said.

She had been attending a walking football group run by the Newcastle United Foundation, but since the coronavirus pandemic has started attending the Age UK one.

"For the first four weeks I was the only person there but now there are three of us," Ms Collins said.

"It would be great to get more women along so we can have a proper game.

"I would say even if you don't like football it's a good way to get some gentle exercise and make new friends."

The group meets at Foxhunters Playing Field at 10:00 every Wednesday.

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