Manchester United recorded the biggest attendance of the WSL season so far with 20,241 people at Old Trafford for Sunday’s clash against Everton - the noise level made it feel like much more.
United have only once previously played a women’s game at Old Trafford, facing West Ham behind closed doors last season amid Covid-19 restrictions.
But there was huge optimism for a big crowd ahead of the visit of Everton, with the club dressing the outside and inside of the iconic venue in imagery of the women’s team for the occasion.
The official attendance figure, while smaller than the number of tickets sold, still represents a huge new high for the club at around five times their previous record crowd - which had been set against Reading in the Continental Cup way back in August 2018 for their first ever home game.
Manager Marc Skinner reflected afterwards that ‘women’s football won today’, highlighting the ‘magnitude’ that a club with the stature of Manchester United can have in driving the long-term development of the women’s game.
“There will be people here today that have never experienced women’s football. Women’s football feels a little bit more unique because you feel like you can touch it,” he added.
“I hope they come to support us at Leigh as well – that they don’t just stamp it and move on. For them to see that [performance], hopefully they go home proud of their team.”
In terms of the impact on players, both in the short-term and long-term, Skinner referred to the dressing room being specially tailored to the women’s team, as well as what it will mean for young girls in the crowd seeing what could be within reach for them too.
“That is literally what we’re working towards – The Theatre of Dream – we can make young girls’ dreams come true,” the boss explained.