The Spaniard recounted that Irene Gonzalez was an endless source of inspiration for the development of women’s football later in their country. To the world, the story of Irene Gonzalez overcoming stigma is an anecdote for the battle for gender equality in this sport.
Today, after nearly a century, people in La Coruna still keep two memorabilia about Irene Gonzalez to prove that she is a pioneer in women’s football and gender equality in Spain in particular and the world in general. It was the only photograph of Irene standing in front of the goal, her face radiant, her feet resting on the ball, her long-sleeved shirt and baggy skirt all over her knees. The second keepsake is a popular song in the city in northwestern Spain to praise her.
According to historical records, women’s football first appeared in the UK in the second half of the 19th century and competed according to the rules of men’s football. Even a match in 1920 between the two women’s teams in Liverpool attracted 53,000 fans. It is considered a great achievement for women’s football, but it has led to unpredictable consequences. Football Federation England due to being threatened by the size of women’s football, ban women from playing football in men’s courts. But in Spain, one girl who broke those bans to inspire women’s football development was Irene Gonzalez.
Irene was born in La Coruna on March 26, 1990, 7 years after football was introduced to the vast Galician region of Spain by a student returning from England and only 3 years after founding Deportivo La Coruna, a Famous club of Spain. Irene grew up in the northern neighborhood of Orillamar, where she was fascinated by street football games and then joined despite the objections of some local boys. In 1924, at the age of 15, the young girl Irene participated in matches throughout the region, mainly at the A Estrada, Monelos and Riazor courts, where Deportivo La Coruna Club later built the stadium of the team. Irene initially played as a striker but later became a great goalkeeper with brave performances and always attracted the cheers of the crowd.