FA and England high on The Guardian's women's list

Saturday 08 Mar 2014
Kelly Simmons, The FA's Director of National Game and Women's Football

Heather Rabbatts, Kelly Simmons, Casey Stoney and Kelly Smith have been named among The Guardian’s top 50 most influential women in British sport.

The list was compiled to help mark International Women’s Day, Saturday 8 March.

It is headed up by Debbie Jevans, CEO of England Rugby 2015, with Rabbatts in ninth position.

Former chair of Millwall, Rabbatts is the first-ever female FA Board member.

She is a non-executive director of the Organisation and Chair of The FA's Inclusion Advisory Board. Rabbatts has also held key positions at the BBC and Bank of England.

Simmons is The FA’s Director of National Game and Women’s Football.

An FA employee for almost 25 years, Simmons is responsible for grassroots and semi-professional football in England as well as the development of the women’s game.

She was instrumental in the formation of the semi-professional FA WSL and for ‘Game Changer’, The FA’s five-year plan to help grow women’s football further.

Simmons said: "I'm very pleased to be mentioned. It's an impressive list of women who are making a much needed difference.

"I think these lists are useful because they demonstrate the number of women working in what was once a male preserve.

"It shows young women that there are opportunities to progress across a range of sectors within not just football, but right across the sporting industry."

England internationals Stoney and Smith are two of the biggest figures in the women’s game.

Stoney captained Team GB at London 2012 and donned the armband for the Three Lions at Euro 2013.

The Arsenal defender has earned 116 caps and recently spoke openly about her sexuality for the first time – making her arguably the most high-profile active gay footballer currently playing in England.

Smith is widely regarded as the finest female player this country has ever produced.

England’s all-time top goalscorer with 46 goals, the 35-year-old has been named in FIFA’s top five players of the year on four occasions.

Now player-coach at Arsenal, Smith was recently recalled to the England squad for the first time since last year’s European Championship finals.

Sian Massey, the Premier League official, and Karren Brady, vice-chair of West Ham United, are also on the The Guardian's list.


By FA Staff