Bethany England and Beth Mead ‘disgusted’ by non-league club’s choice to axe women’s and girls’ teams

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BETHANY ENGLAND and Beth Mead have slammed a non-league club’s move to scrap their women’s and girls’ football sides. 

The Yorkshire-born Lionesses and Aston Villa’s Maz Pacheco and Kirsty Hanson criticised Thornaby FC for pulling their support of all six teams.

Thornaby FC Women say more than 100 players have been left without teams to play for following their club’s decision to close their women’s and girls teams
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Bethany England says she is saddened by the decision taken by Thornaby FC following a club commitee vote[/caption]
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Beth Mead says Thornaby FC Women players deserve to be treated better[/caption]

Yesterday Thornaby FC Women revealed their club’s committee had voted on to axe its “entire female section” on Saturday. 

Teams include girls sides aged from under-seven up to under-15 with more than 100 girls and women said to have been left without a club to play for.

In a comment published via the social media platform X, Thornaby FC Women stated they are “devastated” by the move.

Of the North Yorkshire club’s decision, they wrote: “This leaves over 100 girls without a club.

“We would like to thank all of our coaches, volunteers, players, supporters and sponsors for their dedication over the last 3 years. You are all amazing.”  

The move made by the committee has come in for criticism from players, fans and followers of the women’s game who publicly shared their concerns.

England, who began her football journey at Barnsley-based grassroots side Junior Tykes FC, stated she was “saddened and disgusted”.

In a tweet, the Lioness striker and Tottenham skipper, 30, added: “The fight for women to keep their place at the table is a never ending battle.

“This should not be happening, these women and girls deserve better!

“My thoughts go out to everyone involved at the club, players, staff and volunteers.”

England’s national team-mate Mead, 29, who grew up near the town of Whitby in North Yorkshire, said she was disgusted by Thornaby FC’s move.

In a post via X, the Arsenal ace and 57-capped Lioness wrote: “Disgusted to see this decision, the women’s game is on the up but we still have committees making these horrible decisions.

“It’s not good enough, these young girls deserve better.”

Villa forward Hanson, 26, who was born in Halifax, said she is “gutted” for the girls involved with Thornaby FC Women, who can no longer play for their teams.

Her Villans team-mate Pacheco, 25, described the club’s committee’s decision as one that had “blown her mind”.

Thornaby FC first-team manager Abbey Lyle told BBC Sport there had been “had been an outpouring of support for the women and girls following the announcement, with sponsorship and new clubs offered”.

In a statement club chairman Garry Morris revealed he voted against the committee’s decision and made his views known to its other members

In a post published on the club’s Facebook page, Mr Morris wrote: “The decision to withdraw support for the women’s team is one that I do not agree with.

“And along with another member of the committee, voted against it at an emergency meeting.

“I have made my feelings known to the board, have asked them to reconsider their decision, and also to consider their positions on the board as patrons and trustees of the football club.

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Kirsty Hanson believes Thornaby FC’s decision shows that women’s sport and football is “not seen as a priority for some”.[/caption]

“We are empowered by the fans of the club to make the right decisions for the future of the club.

“All those who show their unwavering support to both the male and female teams of all age groups deserve better.

“I firmly believe this decision does not do that, and will be making this clear to the remaining members of the board.”

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