‘We used a size four ball’: former Lionesses recall first women’s Euros | England women’s football team

The contrast could hardly be greater for the former England captains Gillian Coultard and Carol Thomas between what was at their disposal in their playing days and the resources and professionalism afforded to the Lionesses today. The pair, who contested the first staging of what is now the European Championships in 1984, are looking forward to England kicking off Euro 2022 against Austria at Old Trafford on 6 July.

Thomas, 67, took to the game before the FA ban on women’s football was lifted in 1970, while Coultard, 58, began playing in 1976 when female participation was permitted,…

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