Today marks International Women’s Day across the globe and as one of the most female-empowered clubs in the English Football League, Tranmere Rovers are shining a spotlight on their most inspiring women.
Jodie Taylor is Tranmere Ladies’ biggest success story. From Wallasey to Washington, the England International star has had a career of globetrotting and is a fantastic reflection on how far the Women’s game has come in recent years.
Now based in Melbourne for the rest of the season, the Lioness has spoken to Tranmere Rovers in the Community about her inspirations and what she hopes to see in the future for women in sport.
On growing up in Wallasey, Taylor said: “My first memories of playing football are when I was about seven years old, playing in the back garden with my dad. I have a twin sister and then two older sisters so I think my dad was desperate to have a boy around to play football with - I was the son he never had!
“I remember he got me a goal for the back garden and used to stand there letting me take shots on him while my sisters would be doing cartwheels behind us.
“My nan always used to ask us “What do you want to be when you grow up?” and my response was always “I want to play for Liverpool”. Her response was always “Maybe by the time you grow up they will let girls play”.
“This just shows how when I was growing up, women playing professional football wasn’t even considered to be an option let alone a career.”
Taylor made her debut for Tranmere Rovers in 2002, at the age of 15, after a prolific season in youth football. That term she scored 109 goals across 125 games for Oldershaw School and Tranmere Rovers. She also scored in Tranmere’s 5-1 win over Wolves in the FA Women’s Cup.
When Rovers slipped down into relegation in 2004, Taylor accepted a four-year soccer scholarship to Oregon State University.
Since then she has played for 13 different teams with outstanding seasons across the world including Arsenal, Seattle Reign and Melbourne City.
Reflecting on her start in football, Taylor continued: “Looking back, I think there was definitely a missed opportunity for any girls growing up playing football in my generation. My only role models were male players like Robbie Fowler and Michael Owen.
“I hope that girls now have me and my teammates as role models to look up to and inspire them.
"If I could give my younger self one piece of advice it would be that no matter what – work hard. Believe in yourself! I didn’t make my England debut until I was 28 years old.
“Work hard, be persistent, have a good attitude, be a good teammate and keep wanting to learn and improve.
“Don’t let anyone tell you that you aren’t good enough or can’t do something.”
For information on Tranmere Girls and Ladies get in touch:
By email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Call: 0151 608 2354