LGBT History Month | Focus on Football – Casey Stoney

Continuing our posts for LGBT History Month, we’ll be highlighting former Manchester United Women manager Casey Stoney.

Casey Stoney is a former player and current manager who played an instrumental role in the development of Manchester United’s Women’s team.

Known for her leadership and directness, Stoney had an illustrious playing career lasting 19 years. Playing across her career for Charlton Athletic, Lincoln, Chelsea, Liverpool & Arsenal, she won the FA Cup four times, as well as winning the league twice with Arsenal.

She is England’s fifth most capped player of all time, with over 100 caps, acting as England captain, as well as captaining Team GB at the London 2012 Olympics. In 2015, she was awarded an MBE for services to football.

While her first experience of management came at 27, when she became player-manager for Chelsea, her most significant appointment to date was at Manchester United. The women team was newly formed, requiring the team to be built from scratch.

For her inaugural season in the Women’s Championship, Stoney brought in players such as Katie Zelem, Ella Toone, Millie Turner, Leah Galton, Jess Sigsworth, Alex Greenwood, Lauren James, and Siobhan Chamberlain.

Manchester United won the Women’s Championship that year, gaining promotion to the Women’s Super League, the top tier of women’s football in England.

In their first season in the Super League, they finished fourth, and ahead of their second season in the top flight, the club announced the recruitment of US World Cup winners Tobin Heath and Christen Press.

However, in May 2021, before the team’s final game of the season, Stoney resigned, with tension between manager and club over training facilities afforded to the women’s team during the pandemic becoming insurmountable.

Currently, Stoney is the inaugural manager of San Diego Wave, another team she has helped build from the ground up.

In a recent interview, Stoney said she stills watches United games and feel likes a proud mum when she does. While her time at Manchester United is over, her contribution to the founding of the women’s team will never be forgotten.