Former Lionesses to be celebrated at Netherlands match

Gilly Flaherty among former Lionesses to be celebrated
Gilly Flaherty in action for England against Belgium in 2016. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

A number of former Lionesses will be honoured at England’s decisive UEFA Women’s Nations League fixture against the Netherlands at Wembley Stadium connected by EE on Friday 1 December.

As another historic year for the team draws to a close, the celebration of former players will be a theme running through the last home game of 2023, with more than 90 former Lionesses expected to be in attendance.

The fixture falls close to the 50th anniversary of the first meeting of England and the Netherlands, played in November 1973 at Reading’s Elm Park, with England winning 1-0. Members of both teams are expected to reunite at Wembley for the first-time and play a part in the pre-match ceremonies.

Also, ahead of kick-off there will be a celebration of Gilly Flaherty (9 caps), Abbie McManus (18 caps) and Jodie Taylor’s (51 caps) international careers to mark their recent retirements from football. The trio will be in attendance and the crowd will be able to show their appreciation for their significant contribution to English football both domestically and internationally.

Finally, more than 40 Lionesses are expected to receive their individual legacy caps in a private ceremony before the game.  As part of the 50th anniversary celebration of the Lionesses in 2022, every player to have represented England since our first international against Scotland in November 1972 has their unique legacy number from Sue Buckett (1) through to the most recent debutant Katie Robinson (227). The Netherlands fixture represents another opportunity for former Lionesses to receive their own personalised cap and legacy number from The FA, in front of former team-mates and loved ones.

Kay Cossington, women’s technical director at The FA said: “Connecting the current generation of players and fans to the history of the women’s game is really important for us all. It’s part of our identity and who we are as a team and as a Lionesses family.

“Each and every former player has played their individual part in the team’s journey and the overall transformation of the women’s game.

“Nights at Wembley Stadium are always so special and the Netherlands fixture will be another really important opportunity to pay tribute to many of them across different generations. We’re delighted so many of them can join us.”

All former players have been contacted but any former players who have not received an invitation and would like to attend are asked to email:

With their UEFA Women’s Nations League group finely poised, the Lionesses have their sights on a two-goal victory against the Netherlands to keep their ambitions to top the group alive. A limited number of tickets remain on sale for the highly anticipated fixture. Visit the online Wembley ticket office to purchase.

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