Film, Women, Women in Sport

#RoseReilly, the feminist pioneer who paved the way for #SWNT.

My purpleTV film about the indefatigable Rose Reilly was premiered to invited VIP guests at the Everyman Cinema in Glasgow last week. After the screening, the most warm and wonderful standing ovation was followed by a Q & A with Rose and my event host Jane Dougall, and then another standing ovation. Rose makes for compelling viewing. She had the audience on the edge of their seats, both during the film and afterwards.

Rose is an icon, a working class woman from Stewarton in Ayrshire who fought against adversity to win the World Cup for Italy after Scotland unfathomably banned her. As well as scoring in that World Cup final, Rose would in the same year, 1984, earn the mantle of being named the best female footballer in the world. And that’s just a slither of her powerful story. No wonder it’s a feature-length film!

Making this film has been an emotional journey, but also an empowering one. Her legacy of self-belief, determination and hard-fought for success against the backdrop of deep-rooted misogyny in sport and society will undoubtedly inspire generations to come.

Tonight, ahead of the Scotland v Jamaica international challenge match at Hampden, the final warm up match for the Scotland national women’s team before they head off to the World Cup finals in France next month, Rose and her Scotland teammates will finally be presented with a Scotland cap for an international match played in 1972 against England. Yes, 1972. It’s incredibly late in coming, but so deserved.

You can find out what’s behind the very late acknowledgement, and much much more in Rose’s film, a story that follows her beginnings in Ayrshire and takes us on a journey from Stewarton to Milan, Reggio Emilia, Jesolo and Venice. It’s on BBC ALBA on the 2nd of June at 9pm and will be available on the BBC iPlayer for 30 days after that.

Margot McCuaig, Rose Reilly and SWNT coach, Shelley Kerr

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