A new mural celebrating the nation’s female footballing heritage has been unveiled.

Local artists and curators have teamed up to mark the start of the women’s Euro 2022 football tournament by painting the faces of several important figures on the walls of a Darlington charity’s headquarters.

The wall outside the Arthur Wharton Foundation, on Drury Street, regularly features sport-related murals by local artists and this summers tournament on home turf is the next big occasion to be commemorated.

Faces on the wall include Lillie Galloway, a former Darlington player who then became manager, leading her Darlington Quaker Girls to become “the crack women’s football team of the north”.

Read more: When the Darlington Quaker Ladies were the best team in the north

The Northern Echo: The mural has already received a positive reception from the passing public. Picture: SARAH CALDECOTTThe mural has already received a positive reception from the passing public. Picture: SARAH CALDECOTT

Local England stars Lucy Bronze and Jill Scott also feature alongside Hope Powell and current Darlington women’s goalkeeper Martina Cuccunato.

“It’s a really powerful message about the empowerment of women and sport,” said Shaun Campbell, founder of the Arthur Wharton Foundation.

“All this goes back to 1921 when women had massive audiences of people watching them play only for them to be banned from playing after the war.

“We only want female hands on the wall to paint and curate it.”

The Northern Echo: Newton Aycliffe artist Jilly Johnston creating the new muralNewton Aycliffe artist Jilly Johnston creating the new mural

With that in mind Shaun enlisted the help of Newton Aycliffe artist Jilly Johnston to turn the powerful message into reality.

“I came across Jilly and we got on like a house on fire and immediately she got the power of the message and smashed it,” said Shaun. “She’s remarkable.”

The response so far from the passing public has been rewarding, Shaun says, and he hopes it can help attract more people to learn about the history of the women’s game and their role in the sport.

He added: “Every time a female passes by outside we get them to pain on the wall. We’re getting the whole community involved.

“We’re going to invite everyone on the wall in the future to view it before it comes down.”

The Northern Echo:

Keep up to date with all the latest news on our website, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

You can also follow our dedicated Darlington Facebook page for all the latest in the area by clicking here.

For all the top news updates from right across the region straight to your inbox, sign up to our newsletter here.

Have you got a story for us? Contact our newsdesk on newsdesk@nne.co.uk or contact 01325 505054