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Thornaby FC’s Decision to Drop Women’s Teams Sparks Outrage

Thornaby FC, a non-league club in North Yorkshire, has faced widespread condemnation after withdrawing support for its six women’s teams, leaving over 100 girls and women without a club. The club’s committee voted on Saturday to remove the teams, which range from under-sevens to adults. This decision has devastated the community, with prominent figures like England forward Beth Mead expressing their disgust.

Impact on the Community

The removal of the women’s teams has left many players and supporters feeling abandoned. Beth Mead voiced her frustration on social media, stating, “Disgusted to see this decision, the women’s game is on the up but we still have committees making these horrible decisions. It’s not good enough, these young girls deserve better.”

The club attempted to justify their decision through a Facebook post, citing staffing shortages and a challenging year as reasons for reverting to only running the men’s team. However, this explanation has done little to quell the backlash.

Sponsor Backlash

The decision has already led to financial repercussions. Britcab, the front-of-shirt sponsor for the men’s team, requested the removal of its logo from the kit. Durata, the sponsor for the women’s team, has cut all ties with the club, expressing their disappointment with the club’s direction.

Internal Conflict

The decision has also caused internal turmoil within Thornaby FC. Club chairman Garry Morris publicly opposed the move and, along with another committee member, voted against it. Morris has called for the board members responsible for the decision to reconsider their positions, emphasizing that the fans deserve better.

“We are empowered by the fans of the club to make the right decisions for the future of the club, and all those who show their unwavering support to both the male and female teams of all age groups deserve better,” Morris stated. “I firmly believe this decision made yesterday does not do that.”

Community Response

The community’s response has been swift and supportive of the affected players. A crowdfunding campaign quickly raised the £500 needed to buy kits for the Under-15s to participate in a national competition this month. The team, which has won three trophies this season, exemplifies the success and potential of women’s football at Thornaby FC.


Thornaby FC’s decision to cut ties with its women’s teams has sparked significant backlash and highlighted ongoing challenges within women’s football. The swift response from the community and sponsors underscores the importance of supporting all players, regardless of gender. As the situation develops, it remains to be seen whether the club will reconsider its stance and work towards a more inclusive future.

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