My Sporting Weekend – Women’s football

Back when she was Michelle Akers-Stahl I interviewed the Golden Shoe winner in a windswept field in stormy Aberdeen in midwinter.

I’d never heard of her and my complete knowledge of women’s football was then the square root of nothing.

Michelle, though, had the legendary status in women’s football of a say, Sir Stanley Matthews, whom I also met.

And who told me that even at the age of 77 he would get up at 5.30am to do his exercises.

The Magnificent Seven: At Quinta do Lago

I do the same, at 25 years younger, but only to go to the toilet!

It has been a big week in English football, what with the record crowd for an England women’s football match.

The 77,000 that watched England play Germany.

Followed by the 1,000th England men’s international when a raft of former and current greats marked the occasion.

Curl power: Michelle Akers

Now these would be occasions I would normally try to avoid in the past as a proud Scotsman.

But as a sports writer and editor I would find myself drawn into.

While many footballers I met were one-dimensional and spoke in cliches, Sir Stanley, who played professional football at 52, lived up to his legend.

There is hope for me yet.

But I was also in the presence of greatness with Michelle, who has now dropped the Stahl after remarrying (Steve Eichenblatt).

King of the dribblers: Sir Stanley Matthews

Michelle Akers-Eichenblatt would be a bit of a mouthful, I guess.

Now this weekend the women have it all to themselves because there are internationals in the men’s game.

So today and tomorrow are billed Women’s Football Weekend… and as I need my football fix, and it’s pretty good, I’ll be looking in.

Sports camps of the type Michelle and Sir Stanley were there to promote have become increasingly popular around the world.

Who needs a racket? With Strictly legend Judy Murray

Awesome Algarve

I saw first hand what they do out in Quinta do Lago, Portugal, where Judy Murray coached us tennis (and dancing).

They have a Paul McGinley Golf Academy, padel classes (a cross between squash and tennis). gym, aquatics, cycling… and it goes on.

But don’t just take my word for it, the top professional rugby and football teams use its facilities.

In fact do take my word for it… www.quintadolago.com. And https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/06/12/sportugal/.

Hopefully you’ll meet a legend or two, along with me.


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