We are delighted to welcome Holly Bratt to the Her Game Too team and look forward to working with her to make HUFC a safe and inclusive club! This week we get to know Holly and asked her to sum up her experience of being a pools fan.
“To me, Her Game Too means the future. The future that girls growing up don’t have to worry about the stigma of football and that it’s not just a men’s sport. It’s great to see so many females going along to support and watch live football. And one word - The Lionesses! We did it…. It’s great to spread the word that football is a game for all to enjoy and love.
I haven’t personally experienced sexism towards myself, but you do sometimes hear the comments of ‘You’re a woman you don’t know what you’re talking about’ ‘You don’t know the offside rule’… (Well actually we do haha) football to me is the greatest sport there is and just because I am female doesn’t mean I don’t understand or have less knowledge than anybody else of any gender. Comments like this are not acceptable and people need to be educated.
I would say I was roughly 7 years old when I went to my first pools match. I’m 29 now and still follow them home and away as much as I can when not at work. I grew up in a household of my dad supporting Pools and Chelsea FC. Every Saturday would be the chance to get myself down to The Vic - Every week the spot would be the mill house halfway line with a Bovril and one of them lollies what turned your mouth red/blue (if you know, you know!) The highs, the lows, the sunshine, the rain! I don’t think anything compares to the sound of the Vic when we score or the feeling when your team win.
I have so many memories following Pools and my top 3 would have to be….
Cardiff play offs against Sheffield Wednesday when I was 11 years old. I remember getting off the coach to the sight of Pools fans and blue and white for as far as I could see. The day didn’t end well for Pools but what a day and what a memory.
Pools Vs Lincoln last season in the FA Cup. We won 1-0 and it took Pools through to the 3rd round. I remember the late goal and it was absolutely lashing down with rain and freezing cold. I was with my niece and nephew and the roar from the Pools fans was unbelievable when we won, even though we were all soaked. One of my favourite away days of last season.
And of course, the best day of my life…. Hartlepool United Vs Torquay United play off final at Bristol. I still to this day watch the videos and talk about it……still get the goosebumps. I have no other words than just unbelievable. Simply the best day of my life.
When it comes to the players who made me fall in love with football, I’ve always loved watching Frank Lampard & Paul Scholes. But for Pools I always had a soft spot for Chris Westwood (It must have been the braids!).
I can be found in the Mill House (TIA) Stand on matchdays, so if anyone has any questions about Her Game Too or needs to report any issues, that’s where you will find me. I’m looking forward to working with Jill, Emily and HUFC plus giving 100% to this campaign.”