The Doncaster Rovers Belles were honoured last night in a civic reception to celebrate their return to the top of women’s football.
The event, which was held at the Mansion House from 7pm, was hosted by Civic Mayor, Councillor Paul Wray and Civic Mayoress Elizabeth Marsden.
Paul Wray said: “The Belle’s list of achievements would be the envy of most clubs. They have been Premier League Winners twice, FA Cup winners six times and are now back in the top tier of English football where they belong.”
At the end of last season, the team won promotion to Women’s Super League One.
As well as their fantastic sporting achievement, the club was also recognised for their work off the pitch.
The ‘Belles for The Community’ initiative, launched in 2009, was the country’s first social enterprise delivering community, health and educational services with female sport as a focal point. Hundreds of youngsters have accessed this.
The reception began with Paul Wray giving the civic gift of a historic picture of the Mansion House to team captain Leandra Little.
Faye Lygo, Doncaster Rovers Belles chairman, said: “We’re delighted to have been recognised with a civic reception - something that the players, staff, volunteers and supporters can all take credit for as we continue our pioneering path in women’s football.”
The event was attended by all of the players and some of the town’s most prominent figures, including representatives from Doncaster Culture and Leisure Trust and Welcome to Yorkshire, as well as cabinet members Pat Knight and Mick Glynn.
Player Kasia Lipka said: “It’s good to be recognised for our achievements, we have been through some tough times as a club so it’s good it’s to celebrate the highs when you have also experienced the lows.
John Buckley, the club’s former manager, did not attend but said he was ‘delighted’ for the girls. He previously called a celebration in the team’s honour in October last year, shortly after their promotion.