Tributes pour in for Doncaster Belles legend Julie Chipchase
Tributes have poured in on social media for Doncaster Rovers Belles legend Julie Chipchase.
Belles announced yesterday that their former player, manager and director of football had died at the age of 60 following a short illness.
The club’s twitter feed has subsequently been inundated with tributes to a true pioneer of the women’s game.
Former England and Belles forward Sue Smith tweeted: “Absolutely heartbroken to hear of the sad passing of Julie Chipchase she was a Donny Belles legend as player & a successful manager. Loved playing for you! A legend and pioneer of the women’s game and a friend RIP Chippy Love to Jo Lily and Charlie”
Jess Sigsworth, ex-Belles striker and now of Manchester United Women, said: “Unbelievably sad to hear the news about chippy Julie took me back at Belles when I was close to giving in. Thank you for always believing in me and making me love football again.. winning the championship with Donny will always be very special. Rest in perfect peace chippy”
Sports broadcaster Jacqui Oatley said: “So, so sad to hear this news. Julie Chipchase was much loved and respected within women’s football. It was a pleasure to work with her many years ago. Her knowledge and insight was exceptional. Thoughts with her family and friends.”
Former Belles striker Courtney Sweetman-Kirk said: “Saddened to hear the news about Chippy. My first international manager at England U15s & then worked with her at @donnybelles. She knew the game inside out, didn’t suffer fools gladly & had such a big presence. Thoughts & condolences are with her family at this difficult time.”
Former England and Belles forward Jody Handley said: “Such sad news!! I have some great memories of the fantastic team she built and led at Belles in the early 2000s....always with a big smile on her face and a twinkle in her eye. A massive loss to the women’s football world. Love to those closest to her xx”
Former England and Belles goalkeeper Leanne Hall said: “I’m stunned & in shock to read the loss of chippy. Chippy was a playing & coaching legend @donnybelles Not only did she provide me the opportunity to play at the highest level with so many memories she was a huge part of why the profile & status of the game is where it is today.”
Former Belles defender Rhiannon Roberts said: “Absolutely heart broken to hear the passing of Julie Chippy Chipchase today She did so much for me whilst at Donny Belles & I loved playing for her. She’s played a huge part in the growth of the women’s game & is a true legend. Thoughts & prayers go out to her family & friends”
Former Belles player Sophie Walton said: “Absolutely heartbroken to hear the sad news of the death of Chippy You showed faith in me as a 15 year old to give me my debut & I will be forever grateful for everything you have done for me throughout my career at Leeds & Donny. My thoughts are with Jo, Lilly and Charlie”
Former Belles player Lauren Cresswell said: “Speechless & devastated is an understatement right now. The coach who always knew how to get the best from me & believed in me. Thankyou for the memories at @donnybelles. The women’s game will never be the same! A truly remarkable person”
Ex-Sunderland Ladies boss Michael Mulhern said: “So very sad to hear about this devastating news. I was lucky enough to work with Julie with England 23’s. Julie also helped me with my A licence when I needed support & guidance. Julie will be sadly missed by all in the women’s game. A great coach and a lovely person. RIP”