Statue of women's football trailblazer St Helens-born Lily Parr unveiled

The statue of Lily Parr. The UK's first ever statue of a female footballer commissioned by Mars has been unveiled at the National Football Museum, Manchester
The statue of Lily Parr. The UK's first ever statue of a female footballer commissioned by Mars has been unveiled at the National Football Museum, Manchester
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A statue of pioneering player Lily Parr has been unveiled at the National Football Museum on the eve of the Women's World Cup.


The statue is the United Kingdom's first of a female footballer, and depicts a true trailblazer of the women's game.

Parr made her debut for St Helens Ladies 100 years ago at the age of 14 before joining the Dick, Kerr Ladies team a year later.

It was the start of a career in which she scored 986 goals in 833 appearances, primarily playing as a left-winger.

Parr's team travelled overseas, touring the United States in 1922, and also attracted huge crowds at home, playing in front of more than 53,000 at Goodison Park in 1920.

Former England captain Faye White was at the unveiling in Manchester, and said: "I think it's a huge moment because it shows the focus on us and the credibility of the women's game.

"I think it's great we're looking at the history and appreciating the history to show where the game has come from and where it is getting to because in the last five years or so there has been so much more interest in the game."

The statue was created by sculptor Hannah Stewart following a commission from England Women's team sponsor Mars as part of their #SupportHer campaign.

It was unveiled by Parr's cousin June Patten, who said she would have been taken aback by the interest if she were still alive to see it.

"I am very proud and pleased that's she's receiving this recognition," Patten said.

"Knowing our Lil, her language would be choice and she would think, 'What the hell's this fuss about?' if she saw it.

"She was very modest about her achievements. We as a family didn't think about her as a footballer, she was just our Lil."