Over 200 commemorative caps presented to WNT players
Ahead of the UEFA Nations League game between Ireland and Northern Ireland, there was a special presentation where over 200 individual caps were given out to women who each helped to build the foundations from which the current team thrives from.
From the trailblazers in 1973 through to more recent internationals, players from all eras were honoured with the unique hand-stitched cap to ensure that they are forever connected with the 50-year anniversary.
The awarding of a cap to an international player dates back to the 1870s and remains a symbolic gesture, as well as a prized keepsake. Therefore it was important to ensure that all players who featured for Ireland at senior level were eligible to receive this one-off cap that represents their involvement with the team.
For many years, the women who pulled on the green jersey for Ireland were not properly honoured and the FAI has moved to address that through the 50-year anniversary celebrations. The commemorative cap presentation was led by FAI President Gerry McAnaney and also included many key FAI figures, including CEO Jonathan Hill.
In May, the players who featured in the very first official games – away to Wales, home to Northern Ireland – were invited to an event in the Westin Hotel, Dublin and appeared on The Late Late Show to shine the spotlight on the true originals of the WNT.
The same players from those 1973 teams were then invited to the Ireland versus France game in Tallaght Stadium in July – which was the send-off fixture ahead of the current team departing for the FIFA Women’s World Cup – and they performed a guard of honour on the pitch. The trailblazers welcoming the history makers!
There is still more to come to continue to recognise the players, coaches, administrators and volunteers who helped to drive women and girls’ football forward over the last five decades. But, as a starting point, it was important to ensure that every player could receive a commemorative cap.
For any player who could not attend the event, they can still claim their commemorative cap. If you have featured in an official game for the Ireland Women's Senior Team, contact WNT@fai.ie