Doncaster Rovers Belles are mourning the loss of Julie Chipchase, a pioneer of women’s football who passed away on Tuesday morning after a short illness.
Julie had performed every role possible at the Belles since joining as a player in the 1970s, including managing the team, and remained director of football and a board member until her death.
Belles founder and president Sheila Edmunds told doncasterroversfc.co.uk: “It’s a huge loss to me personally but also to the women’s game – she pioneered the development of female coaches and managers and leaves behind a real legacy.
“Chippy and I had a very special friendship both inside and outside football, her heart was in the Belles and she did everything she possibly could for the club. It felt like we were two of the last from the old guard, and our hearts go out to her family.
“She was well liked, loved and respected by everyone she met in football and is an all round Belles legend. And it’s not just women’s football – she’s supported and delivered the A licence to some of the best coaches around through her role with the Football Association.”
Julie spent six years as Belles manager, before going on to work with Leeds United Ladies and the England Women’s teams, from U-15s right up to the seniors.