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