She’s 81, she speaks her mind, and she describes herself as Erin Cuthbert’s “English nan”!
Jean Thornton’s mobility scooter is bedecked with blue flags as the ardent Chelsea Women’s fan, who lives in a flat in Howard Road, Surbiton, recalls meeting the Chelsea striker over a cuppa at Kingsmeadow.
“I was in the bar, and Erin adopted me,” she said of the Scotland star. “I’m now her English nan!”
On Remembrance Day, Jean watched Surbiton’s wreaths being laid at the town’s annual open-air service in Ewell Road.
It took her back to the days when she used to placed the wreath on the Surbiton war memorial on behalf of the local St John Ambulance unit.
Jean’s mother was the superintendent, and recruited Jean as a first-aider.
“My first case was someone who passed out at Surbiton Odeon,” Jean recalled. “I asked my mum what to do. She said: ‘Fan her with your hat!’”
Jean will be cheering on Erin when Chelsea Women play Yeovil Town at Kingsmeadow this weekend.
The Scottish forward played the full 90 minutes in her country’s 1-0 defeat by the USA in Paisley on Tuesday night… a match which also featured former Chelsea Women’s favourite Crystal Dunn, playing for the Yankees.
It was Scotland first defeat in six games. Shelley Kerr’s team did well against the world champions, but Alex Morgan scored late in the first half for the USA in a match watched by a creditable 3,790 fans. In the second half, the USA hit the bar with a penalty kick, and the scoreline remained unchanged until the final whistle.
Scotland’s best chance was a shot from Lana Clelland which was pushed beyond the post. Clelland was a familiar figure to Erin Cuthbert, as she plays for Fiorentina, knocked out of the Champions League over two legs by Chelsea Women.
The Scots will be eagerly watching the World Cup draw on December 8, to discover who they will face in France next year.
Tickets are available for Yeovil Town’s visit to Kingsmeadow on Sunday November 18. For all Chelsea Women ticket news visit: http://purchase.tickets.com/buy/TicketPurchase?agency=CLFC_PUBLIC&organ_val=51291&schedule=list&_ga=2.146907127.1593336094.1538038070-13131943.1493031269