Sheroes: A globetrotting mother's unwavering support for her daughter
13 Sep 2019
- Our six-part 'Sheroes' video series concludes with feature on Ali Riley and her mother
- The New Zealand captain and Bev tell the story of their journey together
- Her mother went from sceptic to becoming Ali's biggest fan
Ali Riley’s mother Bev was initially hesitant when her daughter and only child began explaining that she wanted to dedicate her life to becoming a full-time professional footballer.
“I actually never thought she was that good, anyway,” said Bev, laughing. “Early on she used to have to remind us that, ‘You know, this is my job.’ I think we would slip and say something about, ‘Well, when you get a real job.’”
Now captain of the New Zealand national team and playing as a full-back for FC Bayern in the top division in Germany, Ali can count on the support of her mother wherever she plays in the world.
Bev has literally been all over the globe to make sure she’s in the stands of every single one of Ali’s games, from World Cup qualifiers in Papua, New Guinea to league matches across Europe and the USA. “What could be better than watching your child play a sport that they’re good at?”
Bev’s support has been an inspiration to Ali and an example of the kind of mother she aspires to be one day.
“As I’ve gotten older, I’ve grown to understand that everything she’s done in her life has been for me."
Spotlight on the #Sheroes
Riley’s story is the last in our six-part #Sheroes series – short films on females with inspirational stories that fuse ‘The Beautiful Game’ and love – to honour a Women’s World Cup year.
Previous stories include:
- A Brazilian who narrates entire matches for her blind and autistic son inside the stadium
- An Englishwoman who combines mothering a pop star with coaching a men’s football team
- Amy Rodriguez’s journey from being pregnant and scared to conquering the world inside a couple of years
- Mrs Pogba lighting the way for her three footballing sons
- Korea Republic international Hwang Boram's journey from pregnancy to playing in the World Cup