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WOMEN'S FOOTBALL

Sylvia Gore, Women’s football pioneer, passes away aged 71

Sylvia Gore, a pioneer who scored England's first goal in women's international football, has died aged 71, the Football Association said on Friday.

Sylvia Gore, Women’s football pioneer, passes away aged 71

Sylvia Gore, a pioneer who scored England's first goal in women's international football, has died aged 71, the Football Association said on Friday.

She was hailed as "a legend" as tributes poured in for Gore, who was also praised for playing a key role in developing women's football. Her landmark moment came on November 18 1972 when she opened the scoring in a 3-2 win over Scotland as the England women's team played their first official international match.

In March this year Gore continued her lengthy involvement in football by becoming an ambassador for Manchester City Women. Steph Houghton, the Manchester City and England captain, said: "Sylvia was a fantastic person to have around the club, a legend of the women's game. She will be sorely missed by all of the players at Manchester City. Our thoughts go out to her family and friends at this sad time."

Gore, a striker, once scored a remarkable 134 goals in a single season and helped Fodens, a team in northwest England, beat Southampton to win the 1974 Women's FA Cup final.

She went on to coach the Wales women's team in the 1980s and worked as a football development officer with Knowsley Council in Liverpool, as well as serving on the FA Women's Committee, before being inducted into the Hall of Fame at England's National Football Museum in Manchester in 2014.

Speaking about her historic goal against Scotland, Gore told council magazine Knowsley News in 2005: "I still remember the game. There was only one other game played in Scotland that day, a men's game, because the conditions were so bad. I picked up the ball in my own area and ran 40 yards. I thought I would slip over but I stayed on my feet and side-footed the ball past the keeper."

FA chief executive Martin Glenn said on Friday: "We were very saddened to hear of the passing of Sylvia Gore. Everyone at the FA has a great deal of respect for all that she achieved in the game and our thoughts are with her family at this difficult time."

Gore, an amateur in her playing days, lived to see the development of an elite professional women's game in England and FA director Kelly Simmons said: "Sylvia was an absolute pioneer for women's football in this country and without her the game wouldn't be in the position it is today. She loved the game and just wanted women's football to develop and grow, and played such a big part in its success."

Gore died after battling cancer, the BBC said.