I recently bought youngest (7) this T shirt, although in purple, her favourite colour.

And the reason is that my daughter is a soccer player. She adores the game and has played in a team from year one. Since she started a new school in September we have also found out that she enjoys hockey, netball, rounders and long distance running. But given a choice football is what she wants to play.

Whilst I am at a complete loss about where this sportiness comes from, I myself being one of those children who was picked last for every single team sport, every single time, I am immensely proud of her.

I really wanted a daughter. I am not going to lie and say that I was not secretly quite pleased on that last 20 week scan to be told it was 95% likely that a girl was what I was having. I am not really sure why I was so keen on it. There are many superficial reasons, like wanting to be mother of the bride, knowing that daughters tend to turn to their mothers when they become mothers themselves rather than their mother-in-laws, fancying browsing a new section of the baby clothes aisle after two sons.

But I guess the main reason is that I thought over the years I would be able to empathise more with a daughter.

Had that third child been a boy I would have been fine, I love my boys, and another would have been absolutely brilliant. But the fact she was a girl felt like the icing on the cake. It’s controversial to say it but that is how I felt.

And not only I am pleased to have a daughter, I am pleased to have the daughter she is. I am pleased for many reasons but mostly because she is fiesty, strong willed and intensely independent. She is not someone who takes any nonsense and she holds her own in almost any company. She does not see her gender as a barrier to anything. If she is the only girl on the football pitch she shrugs her shoulders, pulls on her shin pads and studs and sets to work.

And that is how it should be. I hope it continues and she can carry that inner confidence long into her future. Because it’s hard, as a female, to do that. I will certainly try to help her with it.

So I am proud of my daughter the football player. Because it epitomises what I want for her in her future. Feelings of confidence, worth & value and a knowledge that she can do anything she wants to regardless of her gender.