Latest News Sporting Icon nominee – Bev Clarke

Sporting Icon nominee – Bev Clarke

23 May 2024

Sporting Icon nominee – Bev Clarke

Bev Clarke wasn’t allowed to play football at school because she’s a girl so now she’s made it her mission to work towards equality in the game.

The 59-year-old former special needs teacher is a football coach at PCT Coaching in Longton and also has a role with The Football Association to identify, recruit and support female football coaches.

She has been nominated as a Sporting Icon in the Your Heroes Awards by Martyn Irvine, Assistant Head Coach of the Stoke City Women’s Team.

Martyn said: “Where do we start? Bev is an incredible person who has dedicated the last few years of her life to developing the female game and young girls across Staffordshire in the quest for equality.

“Bev has an inner drive to ensure that no female experiences the barriers she encountered growing up and goes above and beyond to support players and older females wanting to forge a career in the coaching world of football.

“Bev currently runs a weekly girls-only session, runs an under-eights boys team and supports females across all levels of the game in Staffordshire. Bev is a sporting icon and is very deserving of this accolade.”

After never having the chance to play football competitively as a child Bev, from Stockton Brook, rediscovered the game as an adult when she took over as coach of the football team at the special needs school where she worked as a teacher.

That led to her forming a football league in Stoke-on-Trent for mixed boys and girls which grew to 15 teams.

She said: “I’m the happiest I’ve ever been and finally feel like I’m able to give something back and really help people.

“It’s really important that young girls and boys see female football coaches because if you can see it you can be it. I want all grass roots clubs to reach the point where it isn’t unusual to have female coaches. It’s part of the future.”