Ponteland resident Gloria Stapylton has spoken of her pride at seeing granddaughter Lucy Bronze win Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) Women’s Players’ Player of the Year award.
It is the second time that the Manchester City star, who grew up in Alnwick, has won the prize after taking the crown in 2014.
Lucy started her junior career playing for Belford in the Glendale League before moving on to Alnwick Town Juniors, until the rules dictated that she wasn’t allowed to play with the boys after Under 11.
But she was determined to keep playing football and she joined a girls team at Blyth Town. From there, she moved to the academy at Sunderland.
Her talent meant she was selected for a scholarship in the USA and she became the first British player to win an NCAA Cup in December 2009.
Lucy returned to England to begin a sports science degree at what was then Leeds Metropolitan University. At that point, she moved to Everton Ladies, before joining Liverpool two years later.
She enjoyed league success with Liverpool and made her England debut in 2013. Her next move was to Manchester City in 2014.
The 25-year-old has achieved league and cup honours with the club and her performances at right back and right wing-back have made her one of the first names on the teamsheet for England.
She impressed at the 2015 Fifa World Cup, when the national team reached the semi-finals.
After winning the PFA award, she said: “It’s not really sunk in that I’ve won the award, but it’s a huge honour and I’m so grateful.”
Gloria, mother of Diane (Lucy’s mother) and Julie (Lucy’s aunt), has seen her granddaughter play a number of times and she is looking forward to watching her at Wembley Stadium in the FA Cup Final against Birmingham City on May 13.
“It will be great to cheer Lucy on at the home of football,” she said.
“I can’t take in just how well she has done. I and the rest of the family are extremely proud.”
The next 12 months will be busy for Gloria too as she was recently chosen to be the president of the women’s section at Ponteland Bowling Club.
She has previously represented Northumberland in regional and national competitions.