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Top prize for Lopez

Sue Lopez MBE, Southampton Football Club's Head of Women's Football has been voted into The National Football Museum Hall of Fame.

The award marks her outstanding contribution to English Football after almost 40 years in the game. She will receive the accolade at a ceremony at the Hall of Fame Charity Gala dinner Celebration on November 4, 2004 at the Reebok Stadium in Bolton.

Other recipients of the award that evening will include former Saints and England striker Alan Shearer, Tony Adams and Sir Geoff Hurst.

To date only two other women have been inducted. In 2002, Lily Parr, the star player for Dick Kerr’s Preston based team which famously attracted over 50,00 spectators to Goodison Park on Boxing Day 1921, and last year, current England women's manager, Hope Powell.

The Hall of Fame was established to recognise players and managers who have made an outstanding and lasting contribution to English Football throughout their careers. The selection panel includes Sir Bobby Robson, Sir Bobby Charlton, Sir Alex Ferguson, Sir Tom Finney and Sir Trevor Brooking. Former recipients include legends such as George Best, Tom Finney, Paul Gasgoigne, Eric Cantona, Bobby Moore and Kevin Keegan and former managers Sir Matt Busby, Sir Alf Ramsey and Brian Clough.
 
Lopez has been associated with women's football in Southampton since 1966, and she was a founder member and player for the most successful women's FA Cup team, Southampton WFC. The team captured the trophy eight times and came runners up twice, from 1971-1981.

During that time she played for England 22 times, and then became the first FA Advanced License coach in 1992, and went on to coach the Welsh women's national team for a short time, before becoming Hampshire FA's Coaching and Development Officer for four years.

In 2001, Sue joined Saints where she is now in charge of the club's girls and women's programme, which includes her roles as Director of the Girls Centre of Excellence that has produced several youth internationals for England, Director of Saints Young Women's Academy and manager of Southampton Saints women's team.
 
On hearing the news she beamed: "I feel very proud and honoured to receive such an accolade from the National Football Musuem.

“For a woman to be recognised by such illustrious football men, too, is something I respect and appreciate very much. When I heard that Alan Shearer was a recipient too, I couldn't believe I'd be alongside such a famous former Saint who I watched an admired for so many years here in Southampton.

“When you look at the former recipients, and the selection Panel, you realise they are all legends!

“It is an unbelievable honour to receive this recogntition. My Mum is so proud, too. She has followed my career from the 1970's when Southampton enjoyed their cup glory days.

“I am also grateful for the support of so many wonderful people in football who have helped me along the way, especially people at Southampton Football Club over the years such as Ted Bates, Lawrie McMenemy and in recent times, Saints Chairman Rupert Lowe.

“I am pleased that someone from this city has been recognised - and of course I am delighted that it’s me!"



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