Between dream solo and sexism: “Goal of the Month” makes Beverly Ranger a star

Between dream solo and sexism
“Goal of the Month” makes Beverly Ranger a star

Beverly Ranger became the star of women’s soccer in 1975 with her goal of the month, which was exceptional in many ways. But Ranger no longer wants to have anything to do with the hustle and bustle of the past. On her 70th birthday, she says: “I left football behind.”

Beverly Ranger is unstoppable. With sheer determination, the Bonner SC striker got past five opponents, passed the goalkeeper and fired her team back into the race for the German championship at full speed. With the remarkable equalizer against SSG Bergisch-Gladbach, which was voted goal of the month in June 1975, the native of Jamaica became the star of women’s football.

But Ranger, who turns 70 on Wednesday, no longer wants to have anything to do with the hustle and bustle of the past. “I left football behind me,” she told the sports information service shortly before her birthday. Even her colleagues and students at the Olympic High School in North Carolina, where Ranger began working after moving to the USA in 1989, were unaware of her sporting career for a long time.

Unworthy reception in the sports show

In Germany, Ranger suddenly became known to a broad public in the 1970s with their “Goal of the Month”. Her popularity earned the former striker, who moved from Jamaica to England and later Germany when she was 12, to a sponsorship deal with a sporting goods manufacturer, among other things. According to Ranger, she was told in an interview with Sportschau that she was “the first star” of women’s football.

However, the honor for her goal to make it 1-1 in the final of the Middle Rhine Championship does not trigger any positive feelings in her. Because sports show presenter Ernst Huberty received them with a greeting that would trigger a justified outcry today. “All women from Kingston Town are beautiful and coffee brown,” was the lyric from the 1958 song by Vico Torriani, which Huberty quoted. Ranger was “the living proof,” he added, presenting the medal to the Jamaican capital-born footballer.

“That really blew my mind. What was that about?”

“That really blew my mind. What was that supposed to mean?” Ranger said in an interview with Sportschau about two years ago. “It was unnecessary,” she was there “to talk about the goal and women’s football.” And she is “very proud” that she “helped him get back on his feet in Germany”.

With the goal that made Ranger the second goal scorer of the month after Bärbel Wohlleben, she also put the BSC on course for the title. The Bonn women won the game against SSG Bergisch-Gladbach, with whom Ranger celebrated a championship in 1977, advanced to the finals and later secured the title in the final against Bayern Munich – Ranger scored there too.

Today, the former football star prefers to be active on the tennis court. Last year, he won the individual title for the over-65s at the national championships of the American Tennis Association (ATA) in Orlando. From the sport she once loved, she still catches a few messages from time to time and “sometimes”, says Ranger in an interview, she also watches the English Premier League.

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