The ready made response Jill Scott has for anyone who questions women's football

the ready made response jill scott has for anyone who questions women's football

Former Lioness Jill Scott spoke to Metro to share her view on what makes a true hardcore football fan (Picture: Ed Sykes/Sportsphoto/Allstar via Getty Images)

For former Lioness Jill Scott, she’s used to fielding endless ‘misconceptions’ about women’s football.

The 37-year-old retired in 2022 after winning 161 caps for her country, and has since gone on to become a pundit, coffee shop owner and I’m A Celebrity’s Queen of The Jungle. But she remains poised to defend her former teammates if they’re ever criticised.

‘The biggest misconceptions seem to come from people who haven’t been to watch a women’s game’, she tells Metro. ‘You get someone say “women can’t play football” and I go “oh, what game have you watched?” And it turns out they haven’t watched one at all.

‘With anything in life, you don’t want to throw something down anyone’s throats. People have the opportunity to like something or not like something. And that’s fine. But if you haven’t given something an opportunity, you can’t have a negative stance on it.

‘That’s what annoys me the most.’

the ready made response jill scott has for anyone who questions women's football

Supporters of Barca at the Canaletes fountain in Barcelona on May 25, 2024. (Picture: Robert Bonet/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

the ready made response jill scott has for anyone who questions women's football

Alexia Putellas bows to fans after scoring for Barcelona (Picture: Ramsey Cardy – Sportsfile/UEFA via Getty Images)

Jill hopes to reach a stage where people can say they’re a football fan without distinguishing if it’s the men’s or women’s game. That is something demonstrated in Spain, where Jill was speaking to mark the Women’s Champions League final, where Barcelona fans told Metro about their ‘one club’ mindset.

Jill adds: ‘For me, it’s about getting away from the fact it’s “men’s football” and “women’s football”. It’s just football, isn’t it? We tend to highlight when something is women’s football, when we wouldn’t do that for men’s.

‘I hope it can just be seen as “football fans” in the future.’

Jill was speaking as part of Heineken’s ‘Cheers to the Hardcore Fans’ campaign, which is working to transform what it means to be a dedicated supporter.

Ahead of Metro’s interview with the Lioness in Bilbao’s NH hotel, Jill was stopped by two Irish fans who excitedly spoke to her about the Women’s Super League (WSL) and their favourite team, Arsenal.

the ready made response jill scott has for anyone who questions women's football

Jill Scott signs autographs for fans during Soccer Aid for Unicef 2023 at Old Trafford on June 11, 2023 in Manchester, England (Picture: Matt McNulty/Getty Images)

the ready made response jill scott has for anyone who questions women's football

Jill Scott takes a selfie with fans ahead of the UEFA EURO 2024 European qualifierbetween England and Italy on October 17, 2023 in London, England. (Picture: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

‘I was a Man City player for eight years and they were hardcore Arsenal fans’, Jill recalls from the brief interaction.

‘You might think “oh, maybe they’ll say something about the rivalry.” But they just wanted to share that their favourite Arsenal player was Katie McCabe and tell me about their club.

‘On social media, things can sometimes feel like your reality. But I can honestly say that I’ve never had a negative fan encounter to my face. It’s always positive.

‘Someone came into the coffee shop the other day [Jill runs BOXX2BOXX COFFEE in Manchester, named after her infamous role as a box-to-box midfielder] and they had a tattoo of Lucy Bronze’s signature on her arm. She asked me to sign a piece of paper and said she was going to get my signature done as a tattoo as well, which was brilliant.’

Jill says even if it’s just ‘five seconds’, she always makes sure to stop for fans. She knows how much of a difference a small interaction can make. On a cold night at Sunderland’s Stadium of Light, she waited nervously until 11pm for David Beckham to emerge from the stadium after a match.

the ready made response jill scott has for anyone who questions women's football

David Beckham made a lasting impression on a young Jill Scott (Picture: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

‘When I started this campaign with Heineken, it definitely challenged my perception. I think when people hear the words “hardcore fan,” there is a perception it’s a negative thing. But Heineken has really changed the narrative on that. There’s hardcore fans I’ve heard about like nuns singing for their team every Sunday, people who named their dogs after their favourite players, people who get three flights to reach a game.

‘Before this campaign, if you asked anyone about hardcore fans, I wonder if they’d have said it’s a positive thing. But spreading this positivity, it’s infectious. Everybody has a story.

‘We’re living in an era where the level of sport is so high, so let’s just go out there and enjoy it.’

Metro travelled to Bilbao with Heineken’s ‘Cheers to the Hardcore Fans’ campaign. Find out more about Heineken’s work to support the men’s and women’s game by clicking here.

Do you have a story you’d like to share? Get in touch by emailing [email protected]

Share your views in the comments below.

OTHER NEWS

34 minutes ago

Want more innovation? China should open up more, says Harvard scholar

38 minutes ago

Queensland government to challenge Aboriginal group's exclusive use claim of Great Keppel Island land

38 minutes ago

'I'm stand-in teammate for Bryson DeChambeau - now I want permanent LIV Golf contract'

38 minutes ago

McLaughlin collides with teammate Power

38 minutes ago

Summer dinner ideas

38 minutes ago

Donald Trump's spiritual advisor warned he would 'pay price' for being president

39 minutes ago

Perth's ultra-tight property market is being squeezed even further by cash buyers

39 minutes ago

Best Town Management Games

39 minutes ago

‘It’s about doing the right thing’: David Littleproud on Coalition’s nuclear plan

39 minutes ago

16-year-old Quincy Wilson breaks through to make men's 400m final at Olympic trials

40 minutes ago

Protesters face multiple charges after delaying Travelers

42 minutes ago

'House of the Dragon' season 2, episode 2: A real no-twin scenario

45 minutes ago

Armaguard gets $50 million bailout to keep cash moving

45 minutes ago

Double gold for Aussie skateboarders ahead of Paris

45 minutes ago

Sen. Graham dings Dems for trying to 'destroy' conservative Supreme Court justices: 'Constitutional overreach'

45 minutes ago

Yemeni satirical song 'ship ship' attacks US-UK-Israeli alliance

45 minutes ago

Euro-Zone PMI: Activity Slows on French Vote Risk, Factory Slump

45 minutes ago

Match Awards from Germany’s tepid draw against Switzerland

45 minutes ago

Multiple Land Rover models recalled due to fire risk

45 minutes ago

How to boost your metabolism with exercise

48 minutes ago

askST Jobs: What to do when a job is not what it says on the tin

48 minutes ago

Agricultural areas with diverse crops, habitats can help wildlife thrive: Study

50 minutes ago

Australian Liberal politician delivers a major blow to his party

51 minutes ago

Reece Gold Flies Off Track After Contact in Indy NXT Race

51 minutes ago

Forrest’s Indigenous foes call for inquiry into Fortescue mining

51 minutes ago

Goldie Hawn thinks it would be 'so fun and crazy' to star with her family on screen

51 minutes ago

Proteas drop easy World Cup catch

51 minutes ago

Energy prices will fall when Australia ‘increases supply’

51 minutes ago

Dries Van Noten Showed Furry Sandals, Flip-Flops and More Standout Men's Shoe Styles at Final Show in Paris

51 minutes ago

Guzman y Gomez ASX pop won’t stop super funds from looking offshore

51 minutes ago

Ex-Liberal minister to lead Climate Change Authority

51 minutes ago

Grounded flights rearranged after airport chaos

51 minutes ago

Cathie Wood says she’ll vote for Trump because he would ‘do the best job for our economy’

51 minutes ago

Labor makes ‘juvenile memes’ about Coalition’s nuclear policy

51 minutes ago

Washington Post’s editor drama only exposes it’s lack of ‘ethics’ after debasing Trump for years

51 minutes ago

Canada Basketball announces star-studded training camp roster for Olympics

51 minutes ago

Teams The Kraken Must Compete With In The Trade Market This Offseason

51 minutes ago

Check out 'The Bikeriders' Custom Leather Jacket Designed by Schott NYC

53 minutes ago

Final tests as launch nears for major under-city metro

55 minutes ago

Tommy Paul's influencer girlfriend Paige Lorenze slammed over 'cringe' antics after American tennis star's win at Queen's: 'Like she won the trophy'