Back in June, the then nine-year-old Summer Hoofe went into her local branch of Sports Direct to buy a new pair of football boots. When she saw that the store had labelled football boots as being for boys, she was rightly shocked. Summer began a social media campaign highlighting the crazy situation and called for all football boots to be marketed as unisex which soon caught the attention of the Manchester Evening News. Impetus’ Ben Gilby spoke to Summer about her campaign, her football, and, of course the Lionesses (28/7/22).
Above: Summer with some of the trophies won with Tikitaka Girls. Photo: Charlene Hoofe.
“I first started playing about two years ago. “I enjoy being part of my teams and scoring goals.”
Summer Hoofe is just like any other young female footballer. She loves the game, she loves playing it, and she loves the camaraderie it brings. When she went into her local branch of Sports Direct to buy a new pair of football boots to wear for the three different teams she plays for, she got a nasty surprise.
“When I went into Sports Direct, to get new boots, I noticed that all the labels said they were for boys. It made me really angry, so my sister helped me to make a TikTok video about it.”Summer Hoofe.
“Once my friends saw my campaign that football boots should be branded as unisex, they agreed with me – even the boys that I play football with agreed. There haven’t been any women players who reached out to back my campaign though, and that makes me really sad.”
Summer lives and breathes football and plays the game whenever she can, as she reveals: “I play for Wigan Junior Latics Mixed Team on the wing. I also play for Tikitaka Girls and Bolton Futsal Club. The Latics Mixed Team did OK this season. Tikitaka did great and won the league. My best performance was when I played in a tournament and scored a worldie from the half way line!”
The youngster then highlighted her footballing heroes, and she clearly has an eye for a great player. “My favourite is Luiz Díaz at Liverpool because he is an effective creative player. Ella Toone is my favourite player for Manchester United as she inspires me to be just like her – but she can’t sing! Alex Brooks at Blackburn Rovers is also great because she has made some great saves and has a great kick.”
Like everyone who adores women’s football, Summer is loving every second of the Euros, and having been to a Lionesses match herself during the competition, she is absolutely clear that they are going to lift the trophy on Sunday.
“England are going to win the Euros because I personally think they have smashed every team so far and I cannot wait to watch them on the TV playing at Wembley Stadium. It’s going to be amazing. I was really lucky to go and watch the opening game against Austria at Old Trafford as I got tickets for my 10th birthday.
“It was a great game and the atmosphere was amazing. I just wish that they had scored more goals, but they have made up for that since! Making history against Norway scoring eight. I’m so excited for Sunday, but it will be sad when it is over as it’s been so good watching so much women’s football on the TV.”