Women’s Title-Winning Team Celebrated At Goodison

Everton’s FA Women’s Premier League title-winning team of 1997/98 were given the VIP treatment as the Club’s current Women’s senior team faced Liverpool last night.

Working alongside the Everton Heritage Society, the Club invited all members of the playing squad, coaching and non-football staff from the success 25 years ago to be guests of honour for what was the first Barclays Women’s Super League Merseyside derby played at Goodison Park.

Ahead of kick-off, the team took to the pitch and were given a rousing reception by a record-breaking crowd of 22,161.

Several members of the group also appeared on the Club’s Fan Zone stage, where they reminisced about that historic season and discussed the progression of the women’s game in the years since.

The 1997/98 squad, managed by Billy Jackson and assisted by Keith Marley, included Mo Marley, who went on to manage Everton and is now a key part of the England set-up, working on developing Lionesses of the future.

Other squad members were Karen Burke (Everton’s top scorer that season), Cathy Gore (voted players’ and manager’s player of the year), Becky Easton, Kerry Halfpenny, Andrea McGrady, Jackie Greatorex (nee Bertie), Louise Jackson (nee Thomas), Louise Ryde, Joy McQuiggan, Tracie Wing (nee Johnson), Jeanette Cunliffe (nee Hill), Tammy Burgess (nee Byrne), Annie Wright, Tina Mason, Jo Fletcher and Emma Wright, a relative of Everton Giant Tommy Wright and Billy Wright, who between them made nearly 500 appearances for the Club.   

The team pipped Arsenal to the title, recording 13 wins from their 18 league games.  

Speaking on the night, Becky Easton explained how she found the experience: “It’s a great occasion for both teams and for the city of Liverpool, which is a real hotbed of football.

“I’ve been able to meet up with the team of 1997/98, some of whom I haven’t seen since back then, so it’s been a lovely reunion and great to reminisce on those times, 25 years on.”

As part of a collaboration with Club partner Stake.com, Everton wore Her Game Too branded warm-up t-shirts ahead of Friday’s fixture and Her Game Too representatives who have helped deliver the campaign’s Merseyside objectives in tackling sexist and online abuse were present in Stake.com’s executive box.

Thanks to Club partner hummel, Skyla – a 10-year-old Evertonian who was surprised at her school by Jess Park and Izzy Christiansen in the build-up to the game – accompanied the match officials on to the pitch before taking a seat alongside her family in an executive box.

Also in attendance were pupils from Holy Family High School in Thornton, who were gifted tickets for the match by Club partner Football Manager as a thank you for the school’s commitment to offering girls increased opportunities to play football