The Westfield Matildas’ most capped player, Cheryl Salisbury, has written her name into Australian sporting history by becoming the first female footballer inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame.
Salisbury was given the honour at a ceremony on Thursday, 11 October at the 35th Sport Australia Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Gala Dinner in Melbourne.
The former Westfield Matildas captain, who was capped a record 151 times, was presented with her membership medal by seven-time world surfing champion Layne Beachley.
As one of seven inductees in the class of 2019, Salisbury reflected on her legacy as a trailblazer for women’s football.
“I grew up in an era where I didn’t have any role models,” Salisbury said.
“I was just a girl who kicked a ball. We didn’t have the Matilda’s yet, and you can’t be what you can’t see.”
Salisbury joins fellow Australian football icons Ray Baartz, Harry Kewell, Peter Wilson, Alfred Quill, Joe Marston MBE and John Warren OAM MBE in the hall.
After making her international debut in 1994, the Novocastrian played at four FIFA Women’s World Cups and two Olympic Games.
Salisbury added: “If you’d asked me five years ago, I would have been surprised.
“But today, I ask myself ‘why has it taken so long?’
“I look forward to the time when we don’t have the first female in any category anymore, we just have athletes.”
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