Published 02 December 2021 4 min read
'Playing the sport I love as my true, authentic self'
During Rainbow Laces week 2021, Amber Evans writes about her experiences as a transgender grassroots footballer
From an early age I’ve always loved football.
You could always find me in the garden with my dad, playing 1v1.
I showed promise in my early years, but for a number of reasons I wasn't able to progress my football.
But when I came out as transgender at the age of 27, I thought my days of playing football would be behind me.
Fortunately, I was wrong. After a few trials with different clubs, I was accepted at Torquay United.
The manager, Jamie McInnes, was superb in ensuring my identity as a transgender woman was not a problem and that I was an equal part of the team.
My first match was a Women’s FA Cup game against Weston Super Mare. Subbed on in the 80th minute, I scored my first goal for the club.
I felt a wave of pride in how far I’d come, to not only be playing the sport I love, but to be doing so as my true, authentic self.
It was only after the game that I found out I was the first transgender person to score a goal in the Women’s FA Cup and I’m honoured to hold this accolade and only hope that this is the first of many more to come.
Meet Amber 👋— England Football (@EnglandFootball) December 2, 2021
From an early age Amber has always loved football. At 27, Amber came out as transgender and thought it was the end of playing football.
This is Amber’s story 👇#TakeYourChance pic.twitter.com/IuglCW5ncL
I now play for Saltash United, under the management of Dave Hengle, who has been another great source of strength and support.
Training now as a goalkeeper, I hope to keep progressing my game and showing that transgender people belong in sport as much as anyone else.