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Debbie Bampton

Category: Female Player
Year Inducted: 2005

Profile by Robert Galvin, the author of Football's Greatest Heroes, the official book of the National Football Museum Hall of Fame:

Debbie Bampton was still a schoolgirl when she made her England debut against Holland at the age of 16; and she played her last game for her country two decades later on a tour to the United States in 1997. In between times, she achieved two notable 素irsts' in the women's game.

In 1992-93 she was a member of the Arsenal side that became the first team to win the domestic treble of League championship, FA Cup and League Cup. 羨s a lifelong fan of the Arsenal men's teams, it was a fantastic thrill to win these trophies in the Gunners colours,' she said.

Three years later, as player-manager of Croydon, Bampton made another breakthrough. 選 became the first woman to manage a team to the League and Cup double,' she said.

Despite being sidelined for 12 months after sustaining a serious knee injury in 1982, Bampton won 95 caps for England, scoring seven goals, and she was awarded an MBE in 1998 in recognition of her services to women's football as a player and a manager.

She played in central midfield throughout her career, with the exception of a spell as sweeper for the national team in the mid-1980s.

At the age of 14, Bampton joined Maidstone, a ladies team managed by her father, Albert. 船ad is fanatical about football, and that has rubbed off on me,' she said.

In 1988 Bampton joined a small exodus of British players to Italy, where she trained as a full-time professional with Trani, who finished runners-up in both the League and the Cup at the end of her only season at the club, playing in front of crowds of up to 3,000 at home games.

Then, in 1992, she fulfilled a great ambition when she joined Arsenal, the club she supported from the terraces at Highbury as a child. It wasn't long before she had another reason to celebrate. 選n my first season with them we did the treble,' she said.

In 1994-95 Arsenal came close to repeating their achievement, winning the double of League and FA Cup. It also proved to be her last contribution to the Gunners cause.

選 was still an England international and I had won a number of honours as a player,' she said. 選 was looking for a new challenge when I was approached by Croydon.

禅hey offered me an opportunity to become player-manager, which was an exciting prospect. They'd just won promotion to the national League, and I decided to give it a go.'

In the double season, 1995-96 Croydon defeated Liverpool on penalties in the Women's FA Cup final and won the League title on goal difference from Doncaster Belles after completing the fixture list unbeaten.

糎e won the title three times, and by the time I finished I had achieved everything I wanted to in the game.

選 considered myself a box-to-box player,' Bampton said. 選 worked hard to win the ball, and I was always looking to make forward runs. I was not a natural goalscorer, but I did look to set up chances for others.'