Portrait of Rose Reilly

Delighted to be able to say that my 2019 portrait of pioneering women’s footballer, Rose Reilly, of Ayrshire, Scotland, has been acquired by the National Galleries of Scotland for the Scottish National Portrait Gallery collection.

Rose has a great story, from sneaking up to Glasgow as a girl from her Ayrshire home to go to Celtic football games, creeping in under barriers and over walls, her mother not allowing her to go. And then a few years later, playing for Celtic boy’s team as long as she cut her hair short and called herself Ross.  Then, in years to come she became a footballer for AC Milan, then got busy playing for Lecce FC in Italy on Saturday’s, and for Reims in France on Sunday’s, and winning the Mundialito (the pre-cursor to Women’s football World Cup) in 1984 as the best footballer…in the Italy team, scoring against West Germany! 

It’s quite a story. The stuff of legends, inspirational. Much better you watch a BBC Alba documentary about Rose Reilly than accept my shortened cribbed piece here.

The portrait will go on display in early 2023 at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in an exhibition entitled ‘Modern Portrait’.

Read more about the acquisition here.

View more editorial portraits by Glasgow-based photographer Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert here.

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