Girls On Film
Jill Scott has rightly been in the news of late - which has reminded me of the first time I met her, and two other rising sporting stars, back in 2007. Sunderland-born Jill - who helped the Lionesses to victory in the Euros and scooped Queen of Jungle in I'm a Celeb - was joined by fellow England internationals Steph Houghton and Carly Telford for what originally sounded like quite a bizarre shoot.
I was sent by my then employers The Northern Echo to Dalton Park shopping centre in Co Durham to take some fashion shots of the trio of up-and-coming England internationals who were hoping for selection for the 2007 Women's World Cup in China. As 19-20 year olds at the time, they were very shy and far from their comfort zone being asked to pose in front of the camera.
I had no idea who the girls were and indeed what they would become, which is why it is so interesting looking back now. Steph has totted up 121 England appearances to date, many as captain, and was made an MBE in 2016 for services to football. Goalkeeper Carly has 27 England caps and currently plays for San Diego Wave in the USA. Jill recently announced her retirement form the sport after appearing 161 times for the national side. She was also made an MBE for services to football in 2020.
Surely three of the most inspiring women from the North East in the field of sport, and boundary-breakers in developing the game into a more inclusive activity.