"After Carmela couldn’t find her hero’s stickers, I decided I would create an alternative to alleviate how upset she was."

— Simon Ashton.

A dad has created his own unique football sticker album for his daughter's team after getting fed up trying to track down the Panini England Lioness collection.

Photographer, Simon Ashton, 39, took action after his nine-year-old was left “heartbroken” when she couldn’t get hold of the stickers.

Last month a seven-year-old little girl was also left upset and wrote to supermarket bosses to complain.

But the dad from Leeds, decided to solve the problem for his disappointed daughter and her pals, by making the children the stars.

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

“After Carmela couldn’t find her hero’s stickers, I decided I would create an alternative to alleviate how upset she was.”

Simon came up with the idea of creating a unique sticker album, for his daughter’s team – the Rothwell Juniors.

He pictured all the girls in their kit, and employed a designer to create a collector’s album.

Now, the delighted girl’s 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.

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.

"He is the best Dad in the world for doing this." Carmela said. - Click here to read full story

“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 said it was “ludicrous” the kids can’t get hold of the official Lionesses stickers book “when our national female football is in the semi-finals playing against the world number one, the USA”.

But he pointed out that it was easy to buy the male version everywhere and added: “What sort of message does that send out?”

Immy Masterson, from Horsham, West Sussex, penned an open letter to Sainsburys last month angered about the lack of stickers in their stores.

Her pleas won the backing of former Sports Minister, Tracey Crouch, who said: ‘Panini did a great thing in producing the album but have been failed by the outlets who clearly still have a backward view of women’s interest in football.”

Sainsbury’s said the stickers are available in most of its stores adding: “The Panini Women’s World Cup stickers and book are available to buy in around 550 stores and have been popular with customers.

“We hope to have them back in stock in our Horsham store shortly.”

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

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

As well as amassing record breaking tv audiences, the England women’s team are also capturing the hearts of young female footballers across the country.

Simon, a married dad-of-two, who also coaches his daughter’s team, said: ‘The girls are so excited about the tournament. It inspires them to do better at their game, seeing their heroines doing so well.

Simon’s daughter, Carmela, 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.

“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 girl’s football clubs clamouring to create their own team albums.

He said: “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 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.”

"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.