Mike Abbott Talks
Sometimes, a person’s love for sport can start with a simple leaflet from school.
In 2010, Erin, daughter of Oxton Ladies Chairman Mike Abbott, came home and pleaded with her parents to let her try football with her classmates.
Mike and his wife, Tracey, took their daughter to the school session, expecting her wish to play the beautiful game to be short-lived.
At the session, Mike was approached by Carl Cuthbert, worker at the school, who expressed a desire to start a girl’s football team. For Mr Cuthbert, school was the perfect place for girls to try football in a pressure-free environment.
By September of that year, Carl had enough players to form a team. As his daughter continued to be involved with the team, Mike helped with the carrying of goal-posts, as any parent would.
At the end of the season, the girls decided to stay together and train during the winter months.
This dedication and motivation gave Carl the impetus he needed to fulfill his ambition and create a club solely promoting the female game.
In 2011, Oxton Ladies were formed.
“We were established with a simple philosophy; to give every girl the opportunity to participate in football,” Mike said. "Oxton Ladies helps give [young girls] the opportunity to progress as far as they can in the female game."
"All our girls show a dedication to training and playing that we are incredibly proud of".
"This has resulted in several players achieving places with Liverpool, Everton and Tranmere Rovers academies."
He has also taken over the running of his daughter’s team from Carl, who decided to step away to focus more attention on the newly-established teams coming through at the club.
Mike was the proud recipient of the 2019 Women & Girls Award at last year’s Cheshire FA Awards. Despite this recognition, Mike has continued to show unwavering dedication to help Oxton flourish, all in the hope of providing more opportunities for girls across Cheshire.
“The fact that someone had taken the time to nominate me made me incredibly proud,” he said. “I’ve watched the female game grow from a niche participation sport, having been often overlooked or even derided by many.
"It's great to see female players at all levels being recognised for their progression and abilities."
“As for the growth of Oxton Ladies, as long as we have the coaches available or parents willing to become qualified coaches, we will always look to increase participation.
“I cannot fail to be proud and impressed in equal measure that we in some small way contributing to the success of female football on the Wirral.”