The Steel City derby this weekend (Sunday October 16th) will see Ruby Gascoigne attend her first football match - at the age of 90!
One of the last remaining 'Women of Steel', Ruby will be guest of honour at Sheffield United's clash with city rivals Sheffield Wednesday when the 'football widow' will make her debut at Bramall Lane.
Ruby was among hundreds of young women who toiled in South Yorkshire steel factories during World War II to produce the parts for aircraft, tanks and bombs which were vital to the war effort - as well as raising a family, while their husbands were away fighting for their country.
Ruby will be joined by fellow Woman of Steel Kathleen Roberts at the match and the pair will stroll out onto the pitch to wave to the capacity Sheffield crowd before kick-off.
Proud son Kevin Gascoigne hopes his mother's appearance will help raise the profile of the Women of Steel appeal to build a city centre monument - as well as show Ruby the 'appeal' of the Blades for her husband and five sons over the years.
He said: "The Women of Steel did as much as the land army girls, but their work was never really recognised in a similar way, although to be fair, they never asked for any thanks - they saw it as their duty.
"One of my ambitions has been to get Ruby along to Bramall Lane because I wanted her to see exactly what the fascination has been for us all. Throughout her life, she has had to put up with first my Dad, and then all her five boys being fanatical Blades. She was truly a football widow, but has never set foot inside the Lane.
"Above all, I hope Ruby and Kath being there will raise awareness among fellow football fans of the campaign to make sure the Women of Steel get the statue built that they so richly deserve."
Last year the then-Prime Minister Gordon Brown paid tribute to the local ladies when Ruby, Kathleen and other steel mill veterans travelled to London on a specially renamed train 'The Women of Steel Express' and met MPs in the House of Commons and 10 Downing Street. The ladies have also been guests of honour at the Imperial War Museum.
Plans for a city centre monument in Sheffield to honour the Women of Steel were put on hold as a result of recent public sector funding cuts. However, Sheffield City Council is now expected to make a further announcement later this year.
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