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Mum's proud of her debut girl

Wolverhampton | News | Published:

As Midland girl Jacqui Oatley becomes the first female commentator on Match of the Day tonight, her performance will be under the watchful eye of millions.

But no-one will be more proud of the 32-year-old presenter than her mother Sonja, county councillor for Codsall in South Staffordshire.

Speaking exclusively to the Express & Star Sonja told of how proud she is of her high-flying daughter, who attended St Dominic's School in Brewood.

She said: "It is absolutely fantastic – and it is all down to her own hard work.

"She has done ever so well and it totally dedicated to what she loves.

"She lives the game and has worked so hard at it.

"I'm so proud and so pleased for her."

Codsall-born beauty Jacqui Oatley will be behind the microphone for the Fulham versus Blackburn game on Saturday.

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Miss Oatley, aged 32, who now lives in West London, was an account manager in the capital before giving it up to pursue a career in radio and has already appeared on the front of national newspapers as the debate about whether women should report on football.

The life-long Wolves fan has played down becoming the first woman commentator in Match of the Day's 43-year history and said her decision has nothing to do with sex.

She said: "I don't think of it as breaking down barriers for women in sport. I do it for the same reason as any bloke does – I love my football."

But others have not been so supportive. Among her critics is former Premiership manager Dave Bassett, who said: "I think it undermines the credibility of the programme and when she commentates at the weekend I will not be watching." Jacqui has years of experience in live radio broadcasting. She started at BBC Radio Leeds before going to Radio Five Live.

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