MEMORY LANE: When Nora was Buggy’s save-iour

Nora Thompson
Nora Thompson

Sixty years ago it was unusual for a woman to play football, let alone be a village team’s goalkeeper.

An exception to the rule was in Buxworth - or Bugsworth as it is known by older locals - where, during the summer of 1952, Buxworth’s first and most probably only female goalkeeper made her debut.

On the day in question Fred Chorlton, the side’s regular goalkeeper, didn’t turn up, so the team, made up of Jimmy Boyt, Keith Holford and Sid Drinkwater to name a few, faced a real dilemma.

They decided to approach local farmer Nora Cottrell to take on the goalkeeping duties.

Nora had always been a keen supporter of the village team and was known for occasionally tripping up and shouting at the opposition team. Without hesitation she accepted.

Tall for her generation, Nora went on to play a full season with the team and was locally renowned as a good goalkeeper, often seen playing in the team strip with her trademark black beret covering her fair hair.

Nora used to work at the family farm at Brierley Green, Broken Banks Farm and Cote Bank Farm. She moved to Chapel-en-le-Frith in 1985, where she still resides today.

Commenting on her longevity and good health, the keen Manchester City fan said: “It’s down to hard work and a strong will to get things done.

“I have been very lucky in life. I spend much of my time with my grandson David and his wife Katie, I get out a lot and am a keen sportsperson even to this day.

“I gave up smoking at 50 and never drink alcohol. All in all I have been very fortunate.”