Walsall staff nurse and proud ‘footy mum’ Veronie Archer believes England’s Euros success is a milestone for women now football has ‘come home’.
Veronie, whose son Cameron Archer plays for Aston Villa, reckons the Lionesses’ 2-1 extra-time victory over Germany in the final at Wembley will change the way women’s sport is seen in this country.
“It’s great for the nation and it’s a milestone for women in this country and women’s football here,” said Veronie, who has worked at Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust for 21 years.
“People like Ian Wright have been advocating all girls playing football in PE in school and that’s exactly what I’ve been saying.
“I was brought up playing football with boys in the park and it would have been great to have been able to play organised games, but the opportunities weren’t there for girls back then. Now it’s all changed and we must do more to ensure more girls can play.”
She watched the game with husband Richard and sons Cameron, 20, and Lewis, 23, and admits her emotions got the better of her as the match reached an exciting climax.
“They were all smiling but I am the crazy one – I was jumping up and down and shouting and screaming and singing ‘It’s Coming Home!’” said Veronie.
“It was really tense and I was just hoping it didn’t go to penalties. Cameron was delighted. Afterwards I turned to my husband and said ‘That’s how you do it!’”
Veronie knows what being a proud parent watching your child play for their country means, as she has watched Cameron play – and score – for England Under-21s, with the photographic evidence to show for it, here.
She was a spectator as he netted his first goal for his country in a 3-0 win over Albania at Chesterfield in June which sealed qualification to next year’s finals in Georgia and Romania.