As we continue on the #RoadtoWEuros22, we continue to spotlight those individuals involved in shaping and growing female representation in football across London.
These include coaches and referees, club officials, elite players, schools leads, and male allies to the game in London.
Today, as we mark 100 days to go until the UEFA Women’s EURO 2022, we celebrate London FA and the national FA Grassroots Coach of the Year, Mary Phillips, former England captain and Peckham Town head coach.
Mary Phillip has been volunteering with Peckham Town FC since 2000, supporting the setup of the clubs’ youth teams and coaching at the club for over two decades.
She has been integral to the growth of youth football, running inter-estate football leagues around Peckham which delivered free football to children living on the estates. She now manages the men’s 1st team and U18 boys, leading the men’s side to their first senior trophy in 2019, where they won the London FA Senior Trophy, and became the first women to lead a men’s side to a senior trophy. Mary also coaches the clubs under-18s on Sundays and coaches several school’s partnership teams during the week.
Mary was also the first black woman to captain England, securing 65 caps for her country. She lifted a European title with Arsenal and was part of their quadruple winning season. Phillip is an FA Cup winner with Millwall, Arsenal and Fulham respectively.
Grassroots Coach of the Year
In August 2021, London FA awarded Mary Grassroots Coach of the Year 2021, celebrating her incredible achievements with Peckham and the grassroots community in Southwark. As a result, Mary was also awarded the national FA’s Grassroots Coach of the Year 2021, being chosen out of 50 other County FA nominees.
Phillip was formally presented with the award after Peckhams win against Bromleians in November 2021 by Sir Simon Hughes, former Independent Senior Director for London FA and a former Southwark MP. Hughes had this to say about Mary’s award:
“Mary got the award for being leading adult grassroots coach of the year. A Peckham girl that came home to look after Peckham Town FC. It gives me great pleasure to present Mary the award.”
Hughes also added “Mary has an amazing record, a Peckham woman that has come home, coaches the club and done really well.
“This is our way of saying, ‘Mary, you are as star.’"
For Mary, grassroots football is the heart and soul of football. She has shaped perceptions of female coaches and an inspiration for the game. London FA is grateful for everything she has done for grassroots football in Southwark and proud to award her London FA Grassroots Coach of the Year.
Do you know a Grassroots Hero? Nominations for the Grassroots Heroes Awards 2022 will open on the 2nd April.
General sale for the UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 launched today! Grab your tickets to this summers tournament here