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Tribute to Blackburn Rovers Ladies winger who lost cancer fight
PLAYERS paid a moving tribute to a Blackburn Rovers Ladies winger who died aged 21.
A wreath was laid in the centre circle before Sunday’s home game against Nottingham Forest in memory of Emma Mincher, who died after a three-year battle against cancer.
Emma’s football boots were placed on the pitch and fans and players held a minute’s applause to celebrate her life.
Her husband Stefan also wore Emma’s number 14 shirt.
The mother-of-two, who was known by her maiden name of McDougall by fans, joined Rovers from Fletcher Moss in 2008 and made 30 first team appearances for the Blackburn Rovers Ladies.
However, she was forced to give up playing for the team when she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at the age of 18.
She had battled the disease three times before losing her fight last month.
Gemma Donnelly, girls and women’s football development officer at the club, said the event had been a fitting tribute to Emma’s memory.
She said: “We all stood around the centre circle and had a minute’s applause because Emma said she did not like silence.
“It was quite a sombre yet respectful tribute to Emma.
“A lot of the girls had played in the same team as her and some of them went to her wedding.
“We lost the game, but Emma was there in spirit with us on the field.
“We certainly could have used her, she was deceptively quick.”
The ladies team was inspired to hold the pre-match tribute at their home ground in Radcliffe, Bury, after the mens’ team held a similar celebration.
It was their first home match since Emma died on February 20.