Gill Burns MBE

As an ex International Rugby Player I loved collecting rugby shirts from all over the world. I was lucky enough to collect shirts from 17 countries and my Dad kindly made a wonderful frame for me so I could display them on the wall. I also played in 4 Women’s Rugby World Cups, winning the title in 1994. My England shirts from those four tournaments were also put into a frame made by my Dad.

Consequently my walls are full of rugby shirts.

However I still had other special shirts that were just left in my loft in an old suitcase. I said to myself ‘What on earth can I do with them?’

A couple of years ago my Mum decided to make 4 of my favourite rugby shirts into cushion covers – my Club shirt – Waterloo, my County shirt – Lancashire, my Divisional shirt – The North and finally an International shirt – England. The cushion covers looked lovely and everyone commented on what a good idea it was to be able to enjoy the old shirts and trigger happy memories in this way.

Having recently finished working as a school teacher I decided to start a small cottage industry business and make bespoke cushion covers from sports kit for my customers. Should you wish to get your shirts made into cushions then please make sure you send them to me securely, I will make a unique cushion cover for you, retaining as many features from your shirt as I can. The shirt is cut to size and stitched with care. The shirt will be completed in no more than 3 weeks (generally much sooner) and will be returned safely by Royal Mail Special Delivery.

Just imagine it – Your favourite kit, out on display again to remind you each day of those amazing memories that all good sportsmen and women treasure.

Gillian Burns MBE RUGBY

October 1987 Started playing with Liverpool Polytechnic

1988 to 1989 Captain of Liverpool Polytechnic

October 1988 England debut v Sweden

March 1989 Great Britain debut v France

1989 to 1994 Set up and captained Waterloo FC Women’s Rugby

1989 to 1993 Captain of the North

1990 Captain of Lancashire

1994 to 1999 Captain of England

England caps: 73 (1988-89 SW, W 1989-90; W 1990-91; NL, W, World Cup – SP, IT, FR, USA 1991-92; W, NL

1992-93; W, Canada Cup – USA, W, CAN 1993-94; IT, W, F, World Cup – RS*, CAN, FR, USA 1994-95; NL* W*

1995-96, W*, FR*, SC*, IR* 1996-97; SP*, SC*, IR*, FR*, W*, NZ* European Cup – NL*, FR*, SC* 1997-98; W*, SC*, IR*, World Cup – CAN*, AUS* 1998-99; SC*, IR*, FR*, W, European Cup – NL, FR, SC 1999-00; W, SC, European Cup – KZ, FR, SC, 2000-01; Canada Cup – USA, CAN, NZ, W, SP, SC, FR, AUS, AUS, NZ, NZ 2001-02; SC, IR, FR, W

World Cup SP, IT, CAN, NZ.

England 7’s caps: 5 (Hong Kong 7’s – AUS, NZ, CAN, USA 1997)

Great Britain caps: 2 (F 1989, IT 1990) GB team ceased to exist in 1990.

World XV caps: 2 (NZ 2003)

North West Rep. on the North and National RFUW committees from 1988-1993.

Other rugby related honours:

March 1991 – First woman to referee at Twickenham.

November 1994 – Sunday Times Sportswomen of the Year Team Award – Winners

December 1994 – Cosmopolitan Achievement Award for Sporting Success

December 1994 – Invitation to the Sports Writers Association Awards

December 1994 – Invitation to the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards

July 1995 – Invitation to 10 Downing St. to celebrate the government’s plans for the future of sport

December 1995 – Sports Writers Association Awards

October 1996 – Invited to the Women of the Year Luncheon

Feb 1997 – Invited to a reception at Buckingham Palace to celebrate Sport in the Life of the Nation

October 1997 – Invited to the Women of the Year Luncheon

January 1999 – Rugby Writers’ Award for services to Rugby

April 1999 – Knowsley Borough Sporting Roll of Honour

September 1999 – First woman player to be welcomed into the Rugby World Hall of Fame

1999 – Became Vice-President of the Women’s Sports Foundation

1999 – Rugby Writers Award for services to Rugby

2000 – A chapter in Stephen Jones’ book Midnight Rugby. Ch 14 – ‘Waterloo’

2001 – Sunday Times Sportswomen of the Year Team Award

2002 – Retired with World Record number of caps – 73

2002 – Sefton Sports’ Female Sports Personality of the Year

2002 – 2012 President of the Rugby Football Union for Women

2003 – Captain of the first Women’s World XV

2004 – 2006 First female President of Waterloo Rugby Club, Liverpool

2005 – MBE awarded by The Queen for Services to Sport

2010 – Sefton Sports’ Lifetime Achievement Award

2012 – Became a Privileged Member of the RFU

2013 – Voted Waterloo Rugby Club All-time Hero

2013 – Hon. Msc degree from the University of Chester (Speaker at the graduation ceremony)

2014 – Inducted into the IRB (World Rugby) Hall of Fame

2015 – Became Vice-President of Lancashire RFU

2015 – Inaugural member of the Sefton Sports Council Hall of Fame

2017 – County Cup renamed ‘The Gill Burns Women’s County Championship

2018 – Senior Vice-President of Lancashire RFU

2019 (graduation in July) – Honorary Doctorate from Edge Hill University

2018-19 President of Lancashire RFU