A DEVOTED mother-of-two who has dedicated years to helping her football-mad daughters enjoy the sport is to receive a major parenting award.
Diana Golding, aged 44, of Turks Road, Radcliffe, beat off stiff competition to be named Tesco Mum of the Year.
A star-studded ceremony in London next month will see Diana, who is deputy office manager at Bury Church High School, be presented with her Supportive Mum award.
She was nominated by 22-year-old daughter Lucy in honour of the support she has shown to her and 18-year-old sister Holly’s development in women’s football.
Diana said: “To be nominated was lovely, a fantastic gesture and I was thrilled to bits. I didn’t expect it one bit.
“The girls are accompanying me to the glamourous red carpet ceremony and it will be a nice afternoon of meeting and greeting some celebrities – we’re all very excited.”
Diana’s involvement with women’s football begun with giving lifts on match days and washing kit when Lucy was eight and playing for Radcliffe Girls.
Lucy went on to trial at Manchester United’s Centre of Excellence before playing for Bury, where she was soon joined by Holly.
After being asked to manage one of the teams, Diana completed qualifications in Football Association coaching, safeguarding and first aid.
In 2008, Diana became chairman of the then-struggling Bury Girls and Ladies FC and dedicated herself to raising funds so the club could invest in new kit and equipment and better training facilities.
Diana’s hard work and determination saw the club’s number of teams increase from five to 12 and Bury Girls and Ladies now have 200 women on their books.
She said: “There are hundreds of girls out there who want to play football, they just need to know where to go.
“I wanted to do something about it so I contacted the county’s football associations and asked what I could do, where can I go and who can help me with getting this off the ground?
“Football boosts girls’ confidence and their self-esteem. The younger girls get to spend time with the older girls, who are positive role models for them.”
Diana’s story touched the hearts of the Tesco Mum of the Year Awards judging panel, including Bolton-born radio DJ Sara Cox, TV presenter Gabby Logan and Olympic gold medallist Denise Lewis.