Baroness Karren Brady with her award for Most Influential Woman in Football

West Ham vice-chair Karren Brady has been voted as the most influential woman in football in an online poll commissioned by The Football Pools.

According to Skysports, over 1,000 football fans voted in the survey to celebrate International Women’s Day, with Brady finishing top after claiming a 42 per cent share of the vote.

Also making the ‘team’ of the 11 most influential female figures in the game is Sky Sports HQ presenter Hayley McQueen as well as Soccer AM host Helen Chamberlain.

The line-up features England internationals Casey Stoney, Steph Houghton and Lucy Bronze, as well as former Lionesses Kelly Smith and Rachel Yankey and ex-England Women’s boss Hope Powell.

“It’s a great honour to receive this award and my sincere thanks go to everyone who took the time to vote,” Brady said.

“To top a poll of what I am delighted to say is now an ever-growing group of distinguished and talented influential women in the game, is more than I could have imagined a quarter of a century ago when I first started kicking down doors!

“I say it often but there is still a lot of work to be done.

“My hope is that the talented women on this list will continue to pave the way and open doors for others to follow.

My ultimate aim is to see more women occupying executive positions throughout the business community helped by those who led the way.”

Brady’s career in football began when she was appointed managing director of Birmingham City in 1993, at the tender age of 23.

She presided over the company’s stock market flotation, before becoming the first female managing director to grace the Premier League when the club was promoted in 2002.

In 2010 she was appointed vice-chair of West Ham United, and has since overseen the club’s move into the former Olympic Stadium.

Baroness Brady received her award, along with £5,000 for her chosen charity Wellbeing of Women.

“The Football Pools is delighted to celebrate International Women’s Day by presenting this award to Karren Brady and awarding £5,000 to her chosen charity.

“Having seen the impressive list of women nominated by the British public you can see what an impact women are now having on football.

“From top players to officials, boardroom executives to administrators, it is great that women cover all facets of the game.”

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