Football Queensland is incredibly saddened to hear of the passing of Life Member Elaine Watson OAM, a pioneer of the women’s game.
Widely regarded as the matriarch of women’s football in Australia, Elaine began her career as a team manager in 1964 and served in both state and national roles including treasurer, finance director, manager and tour leader alongside her involvement as a referee and coach in her early years.
Elaine became the foundation president of the Queensland Women’s Association in 1975 before going on to serve as president of the national and Oceania associations.
In 1978, she was the manager of the first Australian team to attend the Women’s World Invitational Tournament in Taiwan, and later served as tour leader for the first Oceania Cup and the 1988 pilot World Cup in China.
Elaine became the first person to be awarded life membership of the Australian Women’s Soccer Association and also received the Award of Merit from the Confederation of Sport.
In 1993, Elaine was presented with the Order of Australia Medal for services to women’s football.
Dedicating her efforts to the development of the women’s game for many decades, Elaine’s immeasurable contributions to football, not only here in Queensland but across the country, will never be forgotten.
Football Queensland extends its condolences to Elaine’s family and loved ones.