Royal Blue Mersey recently chatted with Evertonian Lauren Williams about her love for her team. While the 22-year-old relishes being part of the Goodison Park atmosphere, the atmosphere of Walton Hall Park and her passion for Everton Women, was the topic of this discussion,
With the World Cup now in full swing and causing a hiatus in the men’s game, WSL action continues as the women’s game enjoys more exposure than ever before, both within the media and on the terraces
A regular season-ticket holder, Lauren first became interested in Everton Women five years ago, with Toni Duggan quickly becoming her favourite player. A die-hard fan ever since, she has kept a keen eye on the progression of women’s football and sees more representation on the TV and media as positive for growth, as she explains.
“Jill Scott going into the jungle is a great thing for women’s football as it shows that recognition for the game is only getting bigger.
“Having the likes of Alex (Scott) and Sue (Smith) as regular fixtures on commentary helps a lot, as it shows that women can and do know how the football world works.”
The recognition of women’s football continues to expand, and the sell-out crowds being enjoyed by Everton and other teams in the WSL is validating its reputation.
A keen enthusiast of social media, Lauren enjoys various platforms and groups, including the popular Facebook group, If You Know Your History. With more opportunity for discussion and opinion, negativity can rear its head, something atmospheres in football grounds have also been accused of being.
Lauren sees Walton Hall Park as a safe space for families and younger fans, saying:
“Women’s football is a lovely environment, with a lot of families attending, compared to the men’s which I think can be negative at times.
“The players are definitely more accessible, and as the cost-of-living crisis is getting worse, tickets to the game are more affordable for people to attend, and each player takes time after the match to meet fans, which is lovely.
“I believe we will only keep getting more and more fans at the ground, so I think we are going to need to make plans to get more seats inside the stadium for people very soon.”
There is a common saying that you should never meet your heroes. It is one that Lauren disagrees with:
“My favourite player of all time is Toni Duggan. I’ve loved her for years and continued to throughout her journey at other clubs. Now she’s back at Everton, I’ve had the privilege to meet her and she’s the nicest most genuine person you will ever come across.”