Women's Football

Play on the pitch

Playing on the pitch at Wembley Stadium is a unique and historic privilege for professionals at the top of their game. It's a rare bird indeed when fans of the sport get the chance to take to the hallowed turf. But a handful of competition winners were handed that chance on Sunday at the SSE Play on the Pitch experience day.

Lucky SSE Reward members were randomly chosen to play a match on the famous pitch at the home of football, managed by two people who know a thing or two about the beautiful game themselves.

Teams were divided into England and Scotland outfits for added spice, with the sides coached respectively by former England star Rachel Yankey and Scotland midfielder Joelle Murray.

Murray masterminded Scotland to a 6-0 victory on the day, and the Hibernian midfielder believes every single one of the players who graced the pitch will remember it for the rest of their lives.

"I was speaking to a few of the guys and they absolutely loved it." said Murray. "They never thought they would get an opportunity quite like this.

"If you ask a lot of football fans, they'd love to ask for this opportunity to play on this pitch, the hallowed turf. These guys are living the dream which is incredible."

Arsenal legend Yankey added: "It's a once in a lifetime opportunity for these guys to come down to Wembley and play.

"So many great players have played on this pitch and to put their name to that and be part of that, to be able to play here and score goals and say they've done that is great."

The experience included a tour around Wembley before kick-off, as well as personalised England and Scotland shirts for the players, who all received medals at the end of the match with Scotland also lifting a special trophy.

Commentary on the game was provided by broadcaster Kait Borsay with ex-England footballer and pundit Sue Smith giving analysis.

Kent's Darren Burton, who skippered England and won the Three Lions' player of the match, had his family watching in the stands and admitted it was a special experience that money could not buy.

"I've given it my all, I'm a bit croaky as I was shouting a lot all game!" said the 32-year-old father-of-two. "It's an amazing experience as I'm sure everyone would say. After the final whistle I had a moment, stood on my own and took it all in. It was very special."

Gary Collins, who played in the winning Scotland side on the day, added: "It's just a momentous stadium and to play here was incredible. There are some proper good footballers, professionals, who don't get to come here in their careers so I feel very, very fortunate we've been given the opportunity to come and play."

You'll enjoy lots more benefits being with SSE Reward. Explore how SSE customers can enjoy benefits and exciting prize draws across sport and entertainment in the UK. ssereward.com

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