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By Faye Hackwell The recently-appointed manager of Sutton United Women’s first team has become Her Game Too’s second Manager Advocate.

Lifelong Sutton supporter Lucy Clark became manager of the women’s first team in January, and has pledged her support for Her Game Too after being “driven mad” by the sexism and misogyny she has witnessed in the game.

Lucy’s time in football has seen her referee in the Women’s National League South, manage in men’s non-league football and win trophies with trans-inclusive TRUK United FC.

She said: “Football is a game for everyone and, having been in football for a long time in lots of different roles, I have seen the sexism and misogyny that exists and it has always driven me mad. 

“I support Her Game Too as I believe that women should be involved in all capacities and should not be discriminated against because of their gender.

“Sadly I have witnessed incidents throughout my time in football and they continue to happen, especially via some social media platforms where people can hide behind false names and profiles.

“It is super important to have organisations like Her Game Too so we can try and eradicate all forms of hate from our game, but also to help educate clubs and leagues about how they can play a part in eradicating hate.”

Lucy’s football playing career was cut short when she suffered an ACL injury aged 27 and she moved into refereeing, which she had first taken up when she was 12.

“I worked my way up to refereeing in the third tier of women’s football and officiated many games at Step 5 of men’s football. 

“I was lucky to receive quite a few cup final appointments, including two FA Finals, which were special occasions, and I also had the privilege to referee at Old Trafford last year which was a great experience.”

Her first experience of management was as a teenager, when she set up a team called Sutton Celtic, and she went on to manage in men’s non-league football in Essex and at trans-inclusive amateur football team TRUK United FC.

When a vacancy arose at women’s fifth tier side Sutton United Women, at what Lucy describes as “the perfect time” for her, it was a “dream come true” when she was offered the position earlier this year.

“I have really enjoyed the first month in the role, the girls have responded really well and we are moving in the right direction for sure.”

Sutton United partnered with Her Game Too two years ago and have held fixtures dedicated to the campaign, organised by the club’s Her Game Too Ambassador Sarah Aitchison and other supporters of the campaign at the club.

Lucy said: “I have been aware of Her Game Too now for some time and it is great that Sarah is the ambassador for Sutton United - she is doing an amazing job. 

“Sarah is well known among all Sutton fans through her amazing work and support of the club, and was amazing a few years ago when she rode her bike to every away game during one season for charity!

“I have supported Sutton all my life as I lived a stone’s throw from the ground and was taken there by my parents, who used to use the social side of the club when I was a few weeks old.”

Through her new role as a Her Game Too Manager Advocate, Lucy hopes to use her influence as a manager to raise awareness of the campaign and support Her Game Too-related activities at Sutton United.

“Football is for women as much as it is for anyone else, and no women should feel that they cannot partake in football because of their gender in whatever role they would like.

“Women should be able to go and support their team just like everyone else, express their opinion and not feel that their opinion does not matter or is less relevant. 

“I want everyone to support Her Game Too and for our club to continue showing its support for the campaign, to make sure that all women are welcome at our club - whether that be as a supporter or by taking roles within the club.

“The women’s game is doing a far better job at being inclusive and the men’s game needs to look at this. 

“Supporter-led groups need to make sure that they have plenty of women on board to make sure all voices are heard and listened to.” 

Lucy joins Cambridge United Women’s coach Darren Marjoram as the second Manager Advocate for Her Game Too.

“It is an honour and a privilege to be a Her Game Too Manager Advocate and if I can play just a small part in making football a more inclusive place, then I am proud to do this. 

“I will certainly be promoting Her Game Too and will keep pushing for people to support the campaign and I will back Sarah and her team at Sutton United in any way we can.”

Sarah Aitchison, Her Game Too’s Sutton United Ambassador, said: “It is a real honour to have Lucy as part of the Her Game Too team at Sutton.

“She is no stranger to standing up against discrimination, and the courage and determination she has shown in doing so has been an inspiration to us all.

“I’m so proud to work alongside such a fantastic role model.

“Not only that, but Lucy brings the most amazing - and infectious - enthusiasm for working with the campaign and has been 100 per cent behind us from the word ‘go’.

“I am very excited to see what our team can achieve together.”


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