The first thing I wanted to do was to fire the England physio. I didn’t like her. I didn’t think she was very good. But before I got the chance to, she sent in her letter of resignation. She knew it was coming.
Gradually, I started to build it. I’d manoeuvre things, add things, beg for money, do more and more. And it just got bigger and bigger.
It meant I was always battling. Every day I went into the FA, it felt like I was in a fight.
And I was fighting. I was fighting for women’s football. It was tough. I was female and black. The decision-makers? White. Male. And middle-class.
That’s what it was like. That’s what it’s still like, I think.
“I was burnt out. The FA didn’t appreciate how much I did. It was every year, constantly”
Some people would avoid me when they saw me coming, I know they did: “Here’s Hope again, what does she want now?”
You get used to it in the end. It becomes funny.
Many people never realised the amount of fighting I had to do. They will never know. It was constant.
When I got there, we had a team and a half. By the time I left, we had the Under-15s, Under-17s, Under-19s, Under-21s and the senior team. I had to do something to get that.