WOMEN’S Football Pioneer Rose Reilly’s Story Comes To Beacon

15 September, 2022 | Noticeboard

A STAGE play depicting the life story of trailblazing women’s footballer Rose Reilly will be brought to Beacon Arts Centre tomorrow (Friday).

Rose, a celebration of Reilly’s remarkable life, follows her story as she leaves her home in Stewarton, Ayrshire, aged 17 to play football in France and then Italy.

With women’s football banned in Scotland until 1974, Reilly refused to play by society’s sexist rules and instead travelled overseas to make her dream of becoming a professional footballer come true.

She went on to become a household name in Italy, playing for the Italian national side and helping them win the Mundialito Femminile -– the precursor to the Women’s World Cup.

Before she left Scotland, Reilly played in the first ever women’s international match against England, which took place at Greenock’s Ravenscraig Stadium in November 1972.

However, the match was not recognised by the Scottish FA at the time and Reilly and her teammates were only presented with caps for the historic fixture in 2019.

Reilly, now 67, was voted the best female footballer in the world in 1984 and her talent paved the way for future generations of women in football.

The one-woman stage show is directed by and stars Maureen Carr.

Rose will return to the Beacon’s stage at 7.30pm on Friday 16 September. Tickets are available online.

Pauline Kane, director of Beacon Arts Centre, said: “Rose is an inspiring real-life story about how a young woman from Ayrshire overcame every obstacle possible to follow her dream of becoming a professional footballer.

“Rose Reilly’s talent and tenacity paved the way for future generations of female footballers, and we are proud that her amazing life story is being told on the Beacon stage.

“It’s also fitting that the play should come to Inverclyde, with Rose having played in the first ever international women’s match between Scotland and England here in Greenock during the 1970s.”

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