Legendary Scotland footballer Julie Fleeting to be honored with documentary detailing career

One of Ayrshire’s greatest footballers is being honored with a new documentary this weekend.

A program which airs on BBC ALBA this Sunday, April 10 tells the inspirational story of Julie Fleeting, from Kilwinning.

Produced and directed by RTS award-winning company purpleTV, Fleeting tells the story of a role model and leader who blazed a trail for other women to aspire to.

It reveals her tenacity, determination, adversity and triumph on the pitch, but it’s also a story of family, humility and respect.

Julie was only four or five when she took an interest in football. Her father de ella Jim was a professional footballer with Kilmarnock, and she shared his passion for the game. Ella’s brother Barry also played at junior level.

Julie said: I assume that my initial love of football came from my dad. If the weather was good I was in the garden or street. If it was rainy we were in the kitchen playing football. I just loved it .”

Julie Fleeting in action for Scotland against Bulgaria in 2010

Fleeting’s life in football began when she was nine years old with Cunninghame Boys Club.

It was the first step in achieving a dream she didn’t even know existed.

From playing professionally in America to winning multiple honors with Arsenal, and scoring more goals for Scotland than anyone else, Julie has consistently inspired, empowered and led from the front.

Mark Morrison, Cunninghame Boys Club coach, said: She arrived at the training and I was shocked, there was this young girl, tall, just barging the boys out the way.

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“It was a good surprise to see how keen she was. She was too good a player not to play in the team and you could see the enjoyment she got from it and her natural ability at a young age .”

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Julie said: It was always ‘there is a lassie playing in their team’, every single game, but I couldn’t care less what they were saying and pointing at me. I feel mentally strong to this day, and I think this is probably where it started. When I was able to block out the opinions of others .”

A prolific goal-scorer and a consummate professional, Julie ravaged oppositions throughout a sensational career.

The SFA recorded 116 goals in 121 appearances for Scotland, making Julie the country’s highest scorer, notably notching the crucial goal in the infamous 17-0 victory against Lithuania in 1998.

And in an extensive domestic career, she played in Scotland, the United States, Iceland and England.

Julie excelled everywhere, but it was with Arsenal that she was most successful. Her first silverware by Ella was secured just months after she signed in 2004.

Arsenal won the FA Cup in May thanks to a Fleeting hat trick. In 2007, in a quadruple winning season for Arsenal, she won the prestigious UEFA Women’s Cup, the forerunner to the Champions League. In total, Julie won 17 major honors with Arsenal.

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Julie Fleeting is produced and directed by RTS award-winning company purpleTV and will be broadcast on BBC ALBA on Sunday 10th of April at 9pm and repeated on Friday 15th of April at 10pm.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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