Deserved Recognition For Maz’s Years Of Service

A surprise presentation had MFC Foundation’s longest-serving staff member close to tears.

In recognition of 31 years of service, with the Foundation and its predecessors Middlesbrough FC in the Community and MFC Football Academy, the EFL organised a trophy to be presented to Marrie Wieczorek and fittingly the ceremony took place while she was doing what she loves best, coaching schoolchildren.

Maz was in the middle of a Joy of Moving UK Festival session at St. Joseph’s Primary in Middlesbrough when the presentation was made by the Foundation’s deputy head Craig McManus, while Natalie Guy, who orchestrates the Foundation’s primary school provision, handed over flowers as other Foundation staff and the youngsters crowded around.

“I didn’t know what was happening,” says Maz, smiling. “I wondered why the session was being interrupted and what everyone was doing. This is really, really special. I’m so grateful for the thought and this is something I’ll never forget, special, really special.”

Maz was the first lady born in Middlesbrough to play football for her country, back in the day when she needed three days off work and had to make her own way on a National Express bus to be involved.

She has used all her years of experience to help the young people of Teesside and is one of the most respected and recognised ladies in the town.

“Attitudes towards the women’s game has changed so much since I played,” she recalls.

“It was always, “shouldn’t you be in the kitchen” and “why aren’t you cooking dinner,” before, if anyone walked past while we were playing. And sometimes that came from the ref’s too!

“I had it as a player and manager all the time when I with Middlesbrough Ladies. But now, wow. Mams, dads, grandparents, generations are taking their youngsters to games and England have played in Middlesbrough, my home town.

“There are so many opportunities now, for boys and girls. They can now look to the current stars and genuinely think, “that might be me in 10-15 years’ time.

“I love what I’m doing, working with young people and encouraging them to be the best they can be.”