Mary Phillip is making history while managing Peckham Town


Peckham Town manager Mary Phillip. Credit: David Bauckham


Being a history maker is no mean feat, but Mary Phillip makes it look easy. In a 16 year career, she had countless highlights that will never be forgotten. Phillip became the first black player to captain England Women in 2003, while she was playing for Fulham. She earned 65 senior caps for her country in an international career spanning 13 years.


The defender won 22 trophies while turning out for Millwall Lionesses and Arsenal as well as Fulham. She finieshed her career at Chelsea. Phillip was the first female to have children and play, something that is becoming more common now but was certainly not the norm back in the day.


Since hanging up her boots in 2008, Phillip has moved into coaching. Unsurprisingly, there have misjudgments when arriving at games with staff not even considering that Phillip is men's team Peckham Town's manager.


Speaking to BBC Sport's Jo Currie, Phillip said: "Most of the time when I turn up to the games, they'll look straight at our chairman or our first-aider and go 'manager?' and they'll turn and go 'no, manager's back there'.


"Last season, we rocked up to a game and they refused to let myself through and our TV person through - we film our games. They said 'you've got to go round that way to watch your boyfriends play' and then our chairman had to come and say 'that's our manager'. They let us go through unwillingly."


Despite such obstacles, Phillip made history yet again when she became the first female manager to lead a men's side to a cup success in England. Peckham Town won the London FA Senior trophy, their first accolade, last season with Phillip at the helm.

Peckham Town celebrate their first trophy win. Credit: Brixton Buzz


Phillip has shown what women can do in football when given the opportunity. With her talent and determination, this is just the beginning.