Hope Powell


When Hope Powell was appointed as manager of the England women's team in 1998, she became the first black manager of an English national team, and also the first female manager of an English national team of either sex. She is also the first female ever to obtain the UEFA Pro licence, the highest qualification available to a coach in Europe.

When Sammy Lee, the Liverpool and England coach who was on the same course as Powell, was asked whether she could handle a men's team at a high level, he replied:

"Why not? It's difficult to answer your question without sounding patronising, but Hope's work was as impressive as anyone's on the course."

Powell was the first ever full-time England women's coach. She spent fifteen years at the helm from 1998 to 2013. Her achievements include leading England to the 2001 European Championship, the quarter-finals of the 2005 European Championship, the 2007 World Cup Finals and the final of the 2009 European Championship and the quarter finals of the 2011 World Cup. She also managed the Great Britain women's football team in the 2012 Olympics.

As a player, Powell won 66 England caps, scoring 35 goals. She made her England debut at the age of 16, went on to become vice-captain, and her international career included taking part in England's first appearance in the World Cup finals in 1995, when they reached the quarter finals.

At club level, she played for Millwall Lionesses, Fulham and Croydon, winning the FA Women's Cup three times and doing the League and Cup double with Croydon in 1996.

Powell was awarded an OBE in 2002 for her services to sport and a CBE in 2010 followed.

She returned to management in 2017 when she took on the job for Brighton & Hove Albion women.