FOUR women will be inducted into the Football Hall of Fame WA at the 20th anniversary Gala Dinner/Induction Night at Crown Perth on November 26.
They include two from country regions – Geraldton-based Helen Lumley and Debbie Farrell from Bunbury.
The others are former WA women’s association president Janette Spencer and former State team player Michele Matthews.
It will be the highest number of females to be honoured in one ceremony since five were inducted in 1996 – Sandra Brentnall, Sharon Mateljan, Anna Senjuschenko, Barbara Gibson and Barbara Rogoyski.
The other women who have been inducted by the Football Hall of Fame WA are: Marilyn Learmont, Marilyn Kettell, Luciana Di Ienno, Tracey Wheeler, Teresa White, Rita Richardson, Julie Gorton and Judy Pettitt.
In addition, Sandra Brentnall made history when she became the first woman to be included in a sporting Hall of Legends line-up when she was elevated to legendary status in 2012.
Hall of Fame chairman Louis Prospero said: “We are privileged to honour these women. They have made an invaluable contribution, not just to the female side of the game, but to the history of the code in WA overall.
“Women’s football has come on by leaps in bounds in recent years with the international success of the Matildas. And WA can be proud that many from the West have been involved in that success.”
Bunbury-born Debbie Farrell has filled every role in the game. She played seniors with Bunbury Dynamos aged 11. A year later she played for WA’s under-17 team and was a State senior player for 10 years. She also played with Fremantle, Murdoch Uni and Stirling Reds – and had a brief stint in English football – before turning to coaching.
She coached the Dynamos women’s team for many years and was also on the club’s executive committee as treasurer. She was an administrator with the South West Soccer Association and a Football West academy coach.
Helen Lumley is another who has done it all. She played in goal in four women’s premiership teams in the Geraldton area and also played in the WA State team.
She formed the Chapman Athletic club in 1980 and was secretary for 22 years. She was also secretary of Geraldton District Assoc for 15 years and secretary of Midwest Assoc for 13 years and a member of Football West women’s standing committee. She has also acted as a linesperson in the men’s regional competition.
Michele Matthews played in the Girrawheen women’s team from aged 12 and was 17 when picked for the State team, going on to represent WA for 17 years.
She was an Australian All-Star in 1998. She top scored in a Kuala Lumpur tourney in 1999 and won 12 fairest and best awards and eight league titles. She also coached Subiaco for five years.
Janette Spencer was President of Women’s Soccer WA for eight years, Director of Development for the Australian Womens Soccer Association and the first acting chair of the FFA’s Women’s Standing Committee.
She played at State representative level during the late 1980s and still competes in veteran tournaments.
She spent 10 years with the Department of Sport and Recreation primarily as a sport consultant to some 22 State Sport Associations. She is also a board member of Football West.
PIC ONE: Helen Lumley. PIC TWO: Debbie Farrell. PIC THREE: Janette Spencer. PIC FOUR: Michele Matthews.