As a part of International Women’s Day, Southampton FC reached out to some of our female fans.
We wanted to hear their first-hand experience of supporting the club through the years.
Louise Burke started following Saints in 1989 and is also a member of the Saints Voice Supporter Panel.
I started following Saints in 1989 and we used to have our tickets in Family Centre. One of my most memorable early games was when we beat Liverpool at home 4-1 – Rodney Wallace, Matt Le Tissier and Paul Rideout were all on the scoresheet.
It’s played a huge part in my life as I have been going to football matches every season since 1989. Both my parents are season ticket holders and so is my brother and now my two sons are too – it brings us together as a family and is a huge topic of conversation.
I have many but here are my top three:
• Winning away on a penalty shoot-out at Manchester United. My brother and I drove up there. There were only a few hundred Saints fans but it was a very quiet Old Trafford at the end.
• Matt Le Tissier scoring the last ever goal at The Dell.
• Rickie Lambert being carried through a sea of fans when we won promotion back to the Premier League.
It’s a way of life and is just a huge part of my family
I used to go to a lot more away games before I got married and had my family so it was probably a lot more sociable before and after the game but now I go with my boys which I love as it’s something that we all have in common.
There are a lot more young families and women watching now so there is a far greater acceptance, you don’t feel in the minority so it’s comfortable.
That as I’m female I don’t have a clue about football or know what the off-side rule is. There is often a general assumption that women don’t know much about football. That said when people realise you do, I don’t often feel that I am treated any differently.
I think that over time there has been a greater acceptance of women and that has grown even more with the women’s football, women being pundits and TV presenters.
Think again – it’s an awesome experience and if you have never experience live football then you absolutely have to try it. My 12-year-old daughter plays football and loves it. It’s a great team game and women’s football is definitely on the rise.