England v Scotland 1972: The first women's international

Fifty years ago today, England and Scotland played their first women's international match at Ravenscraig Stadium in Greenock.

'My Moment in History: Kicking Off the Women's Game' is a five-part radio show produced by the British Broadcasting Corporation.

Current figures in women's football join individuals involved in that game to talk to a former England defender.

Some of the best bits are listed here.

'Pushing for women's football cost me my husband'

The first international was started by the secretary of the Scottish Football Association, Elsie Cook.

Rose Reilly holding an advert for the match
Scotland and England's first official international match took place on 18 November, 1972

The dressing room was tense before the game.

I had tears in my eyes when they left that tunnel.

Cook faced sexism as she tried to establish a women's football team in Scotland.

The only thing we wanted to do was play football.

The doors were slammed in our face even if we went somewhere else. We were ostracized. In those days, that was the attitude of men in Scotland. Women shouldn't be daring to pull on football boots while at the sink.

Her husband asked her to quit her job as secretary because he didn't like the idea of women playing football. She recalls that he gave her an ultimatum - either me or the football.

She was the manager of the Scotland team after she resigned as the secretary.

You can imagine how he felt when I told him. I had to take the route that I was going to take. I had nothing else to do.

She says it cost her husband.

I had to prove that women could play a sport.

Scotland 2-3 England 1972: 'We arrived by furniture van, them by coach'

Jean Hunter recalls not everything going to plan, but Cook was heavily involved in that first match, from sewing badges on shirts to arranging the pre- match transport.

The coach was going to pick us up. It didn't arrive.

"Eleanor said 'you're all getting inside this furniture van, it's going to Greenock'" It was like an adventure for us.

'Hitchhiking to play for England'

England and Scotland players come out on to the pitch
Scotland's Rose Reilly said playing at Ravenscraig was the first time they played in a stadium with a stand

The first international was won by Jeannie Allott after England equalized at 2-2 and then scored a goal to take the lead.

Hale remembers that Pat Davies passed him the ball as we were down by two. I went past one person and shot into the corner.

She didn't realize how important that first match was.

It only meant a lot to a few family members and someone you worked with because women's football wasn't very big at the time.

Some players went to extreme lengths to be involved despite the lack of recognition according to Hale.

She said that she was fortunate because there were four players going fromSouthampton to London.

I remember Jeannie Allott, she was only 16 years old. She told us how she got to Waterloo and how she stayed at the station all night.

British footballer Lynda Hale, an unspecified player, British footballer Sheila Parker and British footballer Jeannie Allott
Lynda Hale (left) and Jeannie Allott (right) both played crucial roles in England's victory over Scotland

Hitchhiking was a part of Allott's footballing career.

It was always for Fodens Ladies or the England team. I would hitch a ride to London. She said that she had no choice.

Who had money back then? I didn't have enough money to buy a train ticket. I thumbed it back home after sleeping in a station.

You will do anything when someone loves football as much as I did.

'I was told to buy a skirt'

Wendy Owen won her first cap for England in 1973. She was an 18-year-old cheerleader for the first match against Scotland.

Owen was thinking "oh no, this is terrible, we're going to lose here".

I was a substitute and I was sitting under a blanket on the bench. There were about 400 people there, according to the write-up.

When we scored the final goal, I jumped off the bench and flew into the air.

Scotland players line up before the match
Scotland player Linda Kidd says she has "wonderful memories" of the day - which she says was absolutely freezing, with snow starting during the match

She doesn't have a good memory away from the field.

She said that when they got the letter saying they'd been selected, they were told they couldn't wear pants at the hotel because it was a wedding venue. I did not own a skirt. I went to a shop and bought a skirt, but I was not impressed.

Being part of the first England team also saw them invited to Wembley as part of their preparation for a five-a-side exhibition and Owen describes their excitement at rubbing shoulders with the likes of George Best and the 1966 World Cup-winning strikers

It was a first for the players.

She says that they were interested because they had never seen a female player before.

We didn't know we were making history. We were happy that we'd been selected for England.

  • England honour former Lionesses in 50th anniversary celebrations

'Nothing compares to standing on the pitch in an England shirt'

Sue Whyatt was the reserve keeper behind Sue Buckett when England played their first match.

Sue Buckett, England goalkeeper, poses with two footballs, one plastic and one leather, at Wembley
Sue Buckett was England women's first goalkeeper

"As soon as they started to play the national anthem, that was it, I had tears rolling down my face, never in my wildest dreams did I think there would be an England team with me on it," says Whyatt.

She began her goalkeeping career on the streets.

She says that she was chosen to play in goal to be fair.

We played football on the road a lot after the 1966 World Cup because we couldn't see due to the dark.

"Sue, you're in goal, because they didn't want to dive on the tarmac." I really liked it.

"Anything a boy can do you can too, Sue," my dad said. Whatever you want to do, do it.

She was involved in England's first squad at the age of 16 and played with many older players. She said it was frightening. How close did she get to the pitch?

They had a collision in the goalmouth and I wondered if I was on. She said that SueBeckett was up and back out there again.

"Although I have children and grandchildren, I have to say nothing compares to standing on that pitch with an England shirt on," says Whyatt.

Former England Women players from the 1972 squad carry their honorary match caps and wave to the crowd at Wembley last month
England's first captain Sheila Parker and other players from the 1972 squad received honorary caps at Wembley last month when the Lionesses played the USA