"It felt like it was Christmas again when I got the cards and ripped them open, and you thought 'oh I've got myself"

— Carmela.

Simon Ashton created a unique sticker album for his daughter's football team

A dedicated father was motivated to create a unique sticker album for his daughter’s football team, after she struggled to find any of the Women’s World Cup collection in local stores.

Simon Ashton, 39, a photographer, from Leeds, found the perfect way of capturing his nine-year-old daughter Carmela’s team in a similarly styled album to that of the Lioness’ Panini collection.

Simon pictured all the Rothwell Juniors girls – who he coaches – in their kit, and employed a designer to create a collector’s album.

Now, the delighted girls team are starring in their own sticker book just like their World Cup heroines, where they get to swap their own pictures with their friends to complete the team in their own album.

It comes following the sexism row earlier this month when a seven-year-old girl wrote to supermarket bosses, heartbroken that she couldn’t see any England Lioness stickers.

A beaming member of the Rothwell Juniors holds up one of her cards of her new sticker album

He said: ‘My daughter, Carmela, was absolutely heartbroken she couldn’t find any of the Lioness stickers.

‘It seems ludicrous when our national female football team is in the semi-finals playing against the world number one, the USA, doing the best they ever have.

‘Yet our kids can’t even get hold of the inspirational heroine stickers anywhere – but you buy the male versions everywhere.

‘After Carmela couldn’t find stickers of her heroes, I decided I would create an alternative to alleviate how upset she was,’ said Simon, a married father-of-two.

"He's the best dad in the world," Carmela said. - Click here to read full story

Simon’s daughter, Carmela (pictured with the books) said: ‘My dad is absolutely awesome. He is the best Dad in the world for doing this. Me and my friends absolutely love it’

England’s Lionesses’ opening game against Scotland scored a peak audience of 6.1million viewers, making it the UK’s most watched women’s football game of all time.

While the England women’s team are currently amassing record breaking TV audiences, they are also capturing the hearts of young female footballers across the country.

Simon said: ‘I presented it to the girls at their end of season presentation on Friday night and the ecstatic look on their faces was just magical.

The team get to swap their own pictures with their friends to complete the football group in their own album

‘They couldn’t believe they were stars of their own football album and immediately started swapping stickers with their team mates, desperate to find their own picture.’

Simon’s daughter, Carmela, nine, said: ‘My dad is absolutely awesome. He is the best Dad in the world for doing this. Me and my friends absolutely love it.

‘I was really upset when I couldn’t find the Lioness stickers which I saved up my pocket money for, but when we went to Sainsbury’s they didn’t have one single packet on the shelves.

Simon Ashton said the books would be keepsakes for the team  - Click here to read full story

‘It didn’t feel fair, when you can get the stickers of the England male team really easily. But now my Dad has made all my dreams come true. He is absolutely the best.’

The team’s, goalkeeper, Ruby Philip, nine, told Simon: ‘You’ve turned me into a sticker… I love it.’

Simon is now getting requests from other local girls football clubs to create the album for their teams.

He said: ‘I’ve been utterly overwhelmed by the response. Everyone who looks at the albums are just so impressed and feel it’s very much needed. Girls football needs to be supported at grass roots too.

‘If this had been the male team in the World Cup Final, the country would have been at a standstill and you would be able to buy memorabilia in every shop you went in to.

‘It would be everywhere you looked. The same support should be given to our girls, so they can go on to be the Lionesses of the future.’

Meanwhile, Immy Masterson, seven, from Horsham, West Sussex, struggled to find stickers supporting England’s national women’s football team Lionesses, to complete her Women’s World Cup book.

Revealing that she has previously seen the stores selling stickers for the Men’s World Cup, Immy expressed her disappointment in an open letter to the British supermarket.

Her mother Caroline Masterson, who shared the encounter on Twitter was told by a Tesco customer service representative that they are unable to stock all collectible items.

For more information visit clubstickers.co.uk

"It felt like it was Christmas again when I got the cards and ripped them open, and you thought 'oh I've got myself"

— Carmela.

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