All-Ireland attendance - Women’s sport

“I underestimated you” were the first words former Wimbledon winner Bobby Riggs said to Billie Jean King in 1973 after she defeated him in front of 90m TV viewers.

All-Ireland attendance - Women’s sport

The so-called Battle of the Sexes was a triumph for women in general as she was combatting stereotypes that female tennis players were not as skilled as their male counterparts.

Women in sport have come a long way since those days when, in many codes, their role was confined largely to making the tea and sandwiches at half time.

Witness the 46,286 fans at Croke Park last Sunday for the All-Ireland football final between Dublin and Mayo.

It surpassed this year’s next best attendance of 35,271 at Wembley last May for the Women’s FA Cup final.

And now the former Irish rugby player Joy Neville is to make history next month when she referees a men’s international between Norway and Denmark.

One should never underestimate a determined woman, as the successes of Sonia O’Sullivan, Katie Taylor and Derval O’Rourke — among others — has shown.

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