From Michelle Akers to Megan Rapinoe, bold and inspiring profiles of the pioneers, champions and future heroines of women's soccer around the world.
Women's soccer has come a long way. The first organized games on record -- which took place three hundred years ago in the Scottish Highlands -- were exhibition matches, where single women played against married women while available men looked on, seeking a potential mate.
Today, champions like Mia Hamm, Abby Wambach, Brazil's Marta and China's Sun Wen, have inspired girls around the world to pick up the beautiful game for love of the sport. Inevitably, given the hardships and discrimination they face, women who play soccer professionally are so much more than elite athletes. They are survivors, campaigners, political advocates, feminists, LGBTQ activists, working moms, staunch opponents of racial discrimination and inspirational role models for many.
Based on original interviews with over 50 current and former players and coaches, this book celebrates these remarkable women and their achievements against all odds.
About the Author
Gemma Clarke is a British sports journalist based in the US. She has written about soccer for the Guardian, the Observer, the Times (UK), the Daily Telegraph and the London Evening Standard. She was writer and editor of the League Leader and the first female publications editor for a Premier League soccer club. She wrote minute-by-minute reports on the FIFA Men's World Cup for the Guardian online, as well as reporting on the Women's European Championships and the Men's Blind World Cup. She worked as a production assistant at Sky Sports News and as a stringer for the sports news agency Hayters Teamwork.
"Soccerwomen charts the remarkable route of the world's most determined female footballers and coaches through fine storytelling and honest testimony. This book is rich with historical detail and personal anecdotes that bring to life the characters, their love of the game, and the way the trailblazers overcame challenges to influence the most popular sport on earth. Gemma Clarke writes with passion, precision and context in this important work. It puts into action the sentiment of the final words: 'To anyone who has ever been told they can't do the thing they love: don't listen. Do it anyway.'"—Amy Lawrence, football writer for the Guardian and Observer
"You could describe Gemma Clarke's Soccerwomen as a who's who of women's soccer. But it is so much more than that. Her charting the birth of women's soccer in the munitions factories of England to the nuances of its development in the US and the fights for equal rights and pay, better conditions and just the right to play, is peppered with the rich stories of some of the game's most well known names--and those less well known but deserving of a place in the spotlight. Rich storytelling brings to life players sporting achievements and their off field battles, including; homelessness, alcohol abuse, injury, concussion, parenthood, the effects of natural disasters and war and sexuality. An inspirational read that will tell any young or aspiring player going through a difficult time that they can make it and they are not alone."—Suzanne Wrack, women's soccer correspondent for The Guardian