Doncaster Belles comment: Please don’t destroy our legacy

Sheila Edmunds lifted Belles' first Women's FA Cup in 1983 at Sincil Bank. Photo: Sheila Edmunds
Sheila Edmunds lifted Belles' first Women's FA Cup in 1983 at Sincil Bank. Photo: Sheila Edmunds

Finding out that Doncaster Rovers Belles were relegated into WSL2 by the FA absolutely devastated me.

I was gutted and couldn’t speak to anyone about it for days.

I don’t know the reasons behind the decision which makes the whole thing even more frustrating.

As a founding member of the club, all I’ve ever known is the Belles being in the top flight.

We rely heavily on our club’s history because it’s something to be proud of and to have that top flight status taken away tarnishes our legacy that was built up from nothing really.

I’m of the opinion that results on the pitch should determine your league status, not an application process to list the reasons as to why you should be in the best women’s league.

It’s been a difficult pill to swallow for myself, Paul (Edmunds - Belles’ most successful manager) and former players, we love that club we helped build.

I can’t imagine what the current team must be feeling like either.

Those girls have been fantastic ever since the decision, as has John (Buckley). They’ve conducted themselves with professionalism on and off the pitch and performed really well but the results just haven’t gone their way up to now.

Those girls deserve to be playing top flight football and I do worry that if Belles’ appeal is unsuccessful that maybe some of them will leave at the end of the season to further their career, and you can’t blame them.

June is a big month for the club and I just hope the FA do the right thing and bring back the Belles.