Sylvia Gore

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Sylvia Gore
Sylvia Gore 2.JPG
Personal information
Full name Sylvia Margaret Gore[1]
Date of birth (1944-11-25)25 November 1944
Place of birth Prescot, England
Date of death 9 September 2016(2016-09-09) (aged 71)
Playing position Midfielder
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
Manchester Corinthians
1967–???? Fodens
National team
1972–???? England
Teams managed
1982–1989 Wales
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Sylvia Margaret Gore MBE (25 November 1944 – 9 September 2016) was an English football player and coach.[2] She scored the England women's national football team's first goal in its first official match, a 3–2 win over Scotland in Greenock in 1972, and was involved in women's football for 60 years.[3][4]


Early life[edit]

Gore was born in Prescot, Lancashire, and raised in the north-west of England.[5] She attended Our Ladies’ Junior School and St Edmund Arrowsmith Secondary School.[6]

Gore's father and uncle both played football for Prescot Cables and encouraged her to take up the game. The headteacher of her school vetoed any participation in the school team but she joined Manchester Corinthians in her early teens.[7][6] With Corinthians, Gore played in charity matches all over the world at a time when the Football Association (FA) had banned female players from its pitches. She said:

It was incredible playing in those great stadiums. In one of them, in South America, 80,000 people watched us play. Although we were getting good crowds in England, it was so nice to play on proper football pitches, rather than on the rugby and recreation pitches we had at home.[8]

Playing and coaching career[edit]

In 1972, Gore paid around £2,000 to progress through a series of trials for the first England team. She was accepted onto the team and made history by scoring the team's first goal in its first match on 18 November 1972.[9][10]

Gore was in the Fodens team, originally a works team from the Edwin Foden, Sons & Co. lorry manufacturing plant in Sandbach, which defeated Southampton in the 1974 final of the Women's FA Cup. Gore recalled:

It was the first time Southampton had ever lost in a cup game in the three seasons the national cup had been in existence. We were determined to beat them. We weren't frightened of them — even though they had six international players on their side, compared to our four. It was close though, but I think we deserved our 2–1 win.[11]

Gore was known as the Denis Law of women's football and once netted 134 goals in a season.[5] After Gore stopped playing at the age of 35, she managed the Wales women's national football team from 1982 to 1989.[5][12] She also worked as a football development officer for Knowsley council.[13]

Later life[edit]

Gore was a member of the FA women's committee for 20 years, and in 1999 she won a special achievement award at the inaugural FA Women's Football Awards.[14] In 2014, she became the first female director at the Liverpool County Football Association.[9][15] In the 2000 New Year Honours, Gore was made an MBE for services to girls' and women's football.[5] She was inducted into the National Football Museum Hall of Fame in 2014.[5] In March 2016, Gore became an ambassador for the club Manchester City Women.[13]

Gore died of cancer on 9 September 2016 aged 71.[5]


  1. ^ Carrie, Dunn (15 September 2016). "Sylvia Gore obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 September 2016.
  2. ^ Lopez 1997, p. 12
  3. ^ "England Statistics". The Football Association. 3 December 2002. Retrieved 1 February 2011.
  4. ^ Association, The Football. "Women's football legend Sylvia Gore MBE passes away - About Football Association | The FA". Retrieved 9 September 2016.
  5. ^ a b c d e f "Sylvia Gore: England women's first goalscorer dies aged 71". Retrieved 9 September 2016.
  6. ^ a b "Women's Football Pioneer Sylvia Gore Dies at 71 – Prescot Online". Retrieved 9 September 2016.
  7. ^ Lopez 1997, p. 14
  8. ^ Lopez 1997, p. 22
  9. ^ a b Emily Croydon (7 July 2013). "Women's Euros 2013: Women's football's forgotten heroines". BBC Sport. Retrieved 7 July 2013.
  10. ^ "England's first women's goalscorer Sylvia Gore dies". Retrieved 9 September 2016.
  11. ^ Lopez 1997, p. 25
  12. ^ Gareth Roberts (Winter 2005). "Sylvia Gore" (PDF). Retrieved 9 January 2012.
  13. ^ a b Association, Press (9 September 2016). "Sylvia Gore, England women's first goalscorer, dies aged 71". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 10 September 2016.
  14. ^ "F.A. WOMEN'S FOOTBALL AWARDS SPONSORED BY AXA 1998/1999". PR Newswire. Retrieved 28 December 2010.
  15. ^ Kessel, Anna (24 October 2014). "Women's Sport and Fitness Foundation marks 30 years of progress and stutters". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 October 2014.