Islington Mayor Kat Fletcher hosted a special ceremony at Islington Town Hall on Friday in honour of Arsenal Ladies and their unbeaten record in the Women’s FA Cup.
The team were greeted on the steps by the Mayor and council leader Richard Watts, and welcomed by councillors, budding sports players and pupils from Highbury Fields School and Holloway School.
Arsenal Ladies won the Women's FA Cup for the 14th time in May after beating Chelsea 1-0 at Wembley Stadium in front of a record crowd. Following a break over the summer this was the first available opportunity to celebrate the team’s triumph.
Bringing along their latest piece of silverware, the team posed for photographs with young fans and signed posters and programmes. The special reception allowed pupils to ask questions and the players provided inspiration, sharing their experiences and success stories.
Mayor Fletcher revealed her pride in the team and highlighted them as positive role models for young women.
"As the most successful women’s team in the country, Arsenal Ladies should be very proud of their achievements," she said. "We are delighted to have them in the borough and they are an inspiration to our girls and young women.
"It was a fantastic wait to celebrate their success and opportunity for our young sports players in Islington to meet and speak to female footballers of the highest level.
“They’re such positive role-models - we’ve got international stars on our doorstep.
"One of the great things about Arsenal in Islington is that they are so committed to being a part of the community; they are excellent partners for the borough. For young children today to get a chance to meet Alex Scott, Kelly Smith and the other players is a fantastic opportunity."
Arsenal Ladies manager Pedro Martinez Losa was also in attendance and emphasised the importance of the role the football club has within the community.
"We enjoyed celebrating our FA Cup success at Islington Town Hall. It was great to meet Mayor Fletcher and the young, local footballers that attended the reception," Losa said.
"We hope that we inspired them to keep playing and working hard to achieve their dreams.”
The council awarded Arsenal Ladies with the Freedom of the Borough in 2007.
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