Mad for the girls
by David Barber
Great Britain 1-0 Brazil
London 2012 Women's Football
7.45pm, Tuesday 31 July 2012
Wembley Stadium, London
Live on BBC3
As expected last night’s Wembley attendance for GB Women’s Group E fixture with Brazil completely blew away the record for any women’s match played in Britain.
An incredible 70,584 saw Hope Powell’s side top the group after Steph Houghton’s second-minute goal had brought GB’s third win in three.
The previous record crowd for an international on home soil was set at England’s Euro 2005 opener against Finland at the City of Manchester Stadium. Karen Carney’s last-gasp goal to clinch a storming 3-2 victory was watched by 29,092. But, in terms of any women’s match, that figure was dwarfed by the 53,000 who were reported to have packed into Everton’s Goodison Park for a charity match between Dick Kerr’s Ladies and St Helens Ladies on Boxing Day in 1920.
The international record was eclipsed at the weekend as 31,141 saw GB’s 3-0 win against Cameroon at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium on Saturday. Now, after last night, a very old record has finally gone.
The best attendance for any Olympic women’s match is the 76,489 at the USA v China Final at the 1996 Atlanta Games. That figure could well be exceeded, with both a Semi-Final (6 August) and Final (9 August) still to come at iconic Wembley. The world record for a women’s match is 90,185 for the World Cup Final of 1999, again featuring USA and China, at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.
At club level the 2008 FA Women’s Cup Final between Arsenal and Leeds United, played at Nottingham Forest’s ground, drew a crowd of 24,582.