Southampton Football Club has honoured the pioneering Sue Lopez with its latest Forever Saint award.
One of the most influential figures in the history of women’s football in this country, Lopez made an enormous contribution to Saints in particular, both as a player and later as a director.
During her 20-year playing career, she was part of the Southampton team that won the FA Cup an incredible eight times between 1971 and 1981, including the inaugural edition of the trophy in the first of those seasons.
Those were some of many highlights throughout her time on the pitch, where she played as a striker, with Lopez having also played for a season with Italian giants Roma, while helping to establish the first ever officially-sanctioned England women’s team, going on to earn 22 caps.
In 2000, she was awarded an MBE for her services to women’s football, and later that year became Head of Women’s Football at Saints, although with the Men’s side relegated from the Premier League in 2005, the Women’s section was then disbanded for financial reasons.
Lopez was unable to attend Tuesday night’s game against Brentford to receive the award in person, but her long-time friend and former teammate Lesley Lloyd was on-hand to collect the trophy on her behalf during the half-time ceremony.
Lopez joins the list of recipients this season, with the award presented to ex-players, club servants and community champions who have made incredible contributions both at Saints and in the community.
Franny Benali, Glenn Cockerill, John Corbett, Kelvin Davis, Steve Mills, Leon Crouch, Nigel Adkins and Dave Merrington have also all been celebrated so far.