There may have been heartbreak and disappointment on the pitch for Scotland during the FIFA Women’s World Cup in France, but in the kitchens of Wallacestone Primary School there was also pride.
For kitchen assistant, Lorna Docherty, watching her daughter, Nicola (26), sing ‘Flower of Scotland’ alongside her teammates before taking on the Auld Enemy on June 9th brought her to tears for the second time in a month.
“When Nic phoned to tell me she’d been called up to play in France you could have scraped me off the ceiling,” said Lorna, who has worked at the primary school for the past five years. “There were tears of joy too as she’s worked so hard to get to this level. I may have enjoyed one or two glasses of bubbly to celebrate!”
It was nail biting for Lorna watching her daughter pull on the Scotland jersey and put her all into play for the team, the first Scottish women’s squad to qualify for the Women’s World Cup.
Their first match against England was close, with Scotland losing 2-1. The same score line followed against Japan. Then an almost certain win quickly slipped through the team’s fingers against Argentina, losing their 3-0 lead - that would have seen them enter the next round - in the last 16 minutes of the game. Watching the team's dreams shatter was hard, not just for Lorna but the nation.
“I was devastated for them. Nic was gutted and ran straight over to see her dad in the crowd. I just burst into tears. I felt rotten that I wasn’t there with her, but getting into the team is such an achievement and the support she’s had at home has been amazing.”
Having first worked for the Council when Nicola and her big sister, Stacey, were young, Lorna and her husband, Nicky, would come home, grab tea then take it in turns to ferry their daughter to and from training.
That dedication allowed Nicola to hone her skills - and has helped her rack up a total of 21 caps playing for Scotland's Women's A squad so far. For the past six years she’s played for Glasgow City FC after being scouted from Rangers Women FC.
Over the years Lorna has heard the odd person say that women can’t play football but thankfully that attitude is changing, particularly with the younger generation - and especially with the pupils at Wallacestone.
She said: “One of the girls asked if she could come and meet Nic Docherty’s mum and two boys came up to me asking if I was Docherty’s mum. It’s been nice getting recognition for raising a football star! There is definitely more respect and a belief that woman can play football to a high level but there’s still a long way to go.”
Pictured: Scotland's Women's World Cup squad 2019 with Nicola Docherty second from the right in the second row.
Photo courtesy of the Scottish FA.