Marrie Wieczorek has become the first Woman Ambassador for our Football Welcomes initiative.
The honour rounded off a special week for the lady who was the first Middlesbrough-born woman to play for England.
Ahead of watching England Lionesses take on Brazil at the Riverside in front of the biggest crowd for a women’s international outside of Wembley, Marrie took part in a Football Welcomes session at North Shore Academy in Stockton watched by one the leading lights and most respected figures in the women’s game, Rachel Pavlou.
Rachel, who thoroughly enjoyed her evening, commented: “I’d like to say well done to MFC Foundation for the session they put on. Female Refugees v Women’s Walking Football v Staff was very entertaining.
“I’m delighted for Marrie, she was on the UEFA B Licence course with me back in 1998 and of course played for England three times.”
Rachel continued: “The kit for the refugees was donated by CFA Innovation Fund through the North Riding FA True Integration Project. Well done everyone.”
Accepting her role of Ambassador, Marrie said: “This a great honour. This programme brings together people from all walks of life and really does make a difference.”
About Football Welcomes
The Football Welcomes programme was launched three years ago to celebrate the contribution of refugees to football and the positive role the game plays in bringing people together.
As part of the programme, football clubs from across England, Scotland and Wales can give out free match tickets to refugees and people seeking asylum living locally, arrange player visits or stadium tours, or organise a match or tournament for refugees and people seeking asylum in their community programmes.
Over the last year more than 160 clubs have taken part to highlight the important role football clubs can play in welcoming refugees into their local communities, and in helping them to settle in to a new country and culture.