A CLUB director has expressed his pride after watching his daughter play at the home of England Rugby.

Andy Gordon watched on at Twickenham as his daughter Abi represented Leicester Tigers in their Papa John’s Women’s Championship play-off final against defending champions Cheltenham Tigers.

Leicester were beaten 17-27, but the result did little to detract away from the occasion for 24-year-old Gordon, whose rugby journey began at the age of six with Bicester RUFC.

READ ALSO: On the pitch reaction from Didcot Town’s manager after promotion secured

Her dad, a director at Bicester, told this newspaper: “It’s an honour for her to play on the hallowed turf at Twickenham, and represent the club.

“It’s a shame about the result but the ability to play at Twickenham is an absolute honour and a great experience – it was a wonderful day.

“Sitting there below the royal box, it was a great experience and there was maybe between three and four thousand people there, and it was a proud moment as a parent.”

Witney Gazette: Click here to sign up to the Oxford United newsletter Click here to sign up to the Oxford United newsletter (Image: Newsquest)

After leaving Bicester aged 16, Abi moved to Loughborough to join their academy programme and then made the move to Lichfield Ladies.

She made more than a dozen appearances during Leicester Tigers’ debut season this campaign, and her dad has been there with her for the journey while she studies for her PGCE teacher training course at the University of Derby.

He said: “This year, she made the breakthrough and the club has been fully behind the women there.

“Being able to play at Welford Road in front of crowds of 2,500 is a great honour.

“You get young girls asking the players for autographs after the game, and what they’re doing at Leicester is fantastic, in order to support and promote the club in the community.”

On what the future has in store for his daughter, Gordon said: “She’d love to be able to represent her country and who knows what’s around the corner – she’s thriving and loving her rugby.

“It’s a case of being spotted but who knows what the future holds.”

Keith Upton, chairman of Bicester RUFC, said Gordon can be a role model to young female rugby players looking to forge careers in the game.

He said: “As the popularity of women’s rugby continues to grow, it is vital that we have strong female role models like Abi to inspire the next generation of female rugby players.

“Abi’s story shows that there is no limit to what girls can achieve in rugby, and we must continue to support and encourage them to pursue their dreams.”

Despite the defeat at Twickenham, Leicester Tigers enjoyed a successful first season as a squad, as they won the league to gain promotion to the Allianz Premier 15s, the elite women’s rugby competition in the country.

Help support trusted local news 

Sign up for a digital subscription now: oxfordmail.co.uk/subscribe

As a digital subscriber you will get: 

  • Unlimited access to the Oxford Mail website 
  • Advert-light access 
  • Reader rewards 
  • Full access to our app

About the author

To sign up to Liam’s latest Oxford United newsletter for free, click here: https://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/newsletters/

Formerly the politics reporter for the Oxford Mail, Liam now covers all things Oxford United.

Liam attends the U’s home and away, as well as covering other big sports stories across the county.

His Oxford United newsletter is released every Saturday morning at 6am.