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England’s Forgotten Captain Carol Thomas inducted into the National Football Museum Hall of Fame

England’s forgotten captain Carol Thomas is FINALLY recognized for her pioneering role in women’s football with the induction into the National Football Museum’s Hall of Fame.


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England’s forgotten captain Carol Thomas was inducted into the National Football Museum’s Hall of Fame on Tuesday, when her pioneering contribution to women’s football was finally recognized.

Thomas, 66, was England’s women’s captain at the 1984 European Championships, where they lost on penalties, and was the first player to reach 50 games for the Lionesses.

Sportsmail’s interview with Thomas last month highlighted how his accomplishments had been overlooked for decades and spoke of his hopes that he would one day receive the recognition he deserves.

Carol Thomas is finally getting the recognition she deserves for her storied playing career.

Carol Thomas is finally getting the recognition she deserves for her storied playing career.

On Tuesday, the 66-year-old was inducted into the National Soccer Museum's Hall of Fame.

On Tuesday, the 66-year-old was inducted into the National Soccer Museum's Hall of Fame.

On Tuesday, the 66-year-old was inducted into the National Soccer Museum’s Hall of Fame.

And on Tuesday that recognition finally came. Thomas was taken aback by current England team and manager Sarina Wiegman at St George’s Park when she was formally inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Thomas had no idea the presentation was happening and believed she was there to watch the players train.

But when the session ended, his family and some of his former England teammates arrived to break the news.

Thomas (above) was a pioneer of women's soccer, but she has fought for recognition - she sat down last month to speak with Sportsmail about her life and career in soccer.

Thomas (above) was a pioneer of women's soccer, but she has fought for recognition - she sat down last month to speak with Sportsmail about her life and career in soccer.

Thomas (above) was a pioneer of women’s soccer, but she has fought for recognition – she sat down last month to speak with Sportsmail about her life and career in soccer.

“It was totally unexpected,” said an excited Thomas. ‘I thought I was just going down to see St George’s Park, watch the girls train here and then go home this afternoon. It was a huge surprise to see the girls I used to play with in the 70s and 80s, and then my family showed up!

My family has been pushing for me to be in the Hall of Fame, but I didn’t think it was going to happen. It is a great honor to finally get there.

‘It has been a long battle, but it has definitely been worth the wait. It was a huge surprise today and it was absolutely brilliant that it happened at St George’s Park, the home of football. It’s the icing on the cake for me and it’s worth the wait.

Thomas was hugged by all the members of the England team, who posed for photos and cheered as he was presented with his award.

The current England team celebrated the moment with Thomas while holding the gong up.

The current England team celebrated the moment with Thomas while holding the gong up.

The current England team celebrated the moment with Thomas while holding the gong up.

“The reaction from the girls who were training today was incredible,” said Thomas. Everyone came and congratulated me, which is great. I will never forget that.

“ Sometimes in our time we used to get the impression that today’s girls maybe they didn’t think we existed. But that reaction for me today was the complete opposite. It was absolutely fabulous.

‘We like to think of ourselves as pioneers. We pay money to play for our country. We traveled everywhere, we didn’t have places like this to train. We were training in local parks.

‘Seeing from our beginnings to where women play now is absolutely brilliant. We are very happy to have been a small part of this. ‘

While Thomas enjoyed watching Wiegman’s team in action, he didn’t feel like dusting off his boots and joining them on the field. Not the way they ran. Today we talked about foot football, you could try it!

And where will you put the award? “We have completely redecorated the living room for you to find a place of honor, no problem!”

Thomas captained the England women in the 1984 European final, where they lost to Sweden.

Thomas captained the England women in the 1984 European final, where they lost to Sweden.

Thomas captained the England women in the 1984 European final, where they lost to Sweden.

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