THERE have been some famous goals in Manchester derbies over the years. I’m thinking Wayne Rooney’s overhead kick, Mark Hughes’ acrobatic volley at Maine Road or Dennis Law prodding the ball over the line to relegate United for the only time in their history but refusing to celebrate.

But it is time to make room for another one. When Scotland’s Caroline Weir popped up last month to settle the first-ever professional meeting between Manchester’s respective women’s teams in City’s favour with an unerring 25-yard strike into the top corner it was a shortcut for the Scot into the world of Mancunian football legend.

“I don’t think it gets much better than that,” Weir told Herald and Times Sport. “Obviously, it was a huge day for the club and the team so it was great to get the goal. It was a great day for me and my family and one we can look back on with fond memories. I’m not sure I’m up there with Denis Law just yet, though, I think I need to score a few more goals before that.”

With a whopping crowd in excess of 31,000 at the Etihad Stadium to take it in and countless others watching on television, let’s just say there was a fair reaction on social media. “Everybody saw it, so my phone was going a lot,” says the 24-year-old Fifer, whose City team area separated from Arsenal at the top of the table by just goal difference. “It was a great game to score in and a great start to the season for us. If I keep practising in training hopefully I can score a few more of them!”

If goals like this – and on occasions such as these – rubber stamp the credentials of this classy 24-year-old Fifer as one of the stars of the Women’s Super League, a recent brush with megastar rapper and media mogul Jay-Z on a trip to Germany with kit sponsors Puma re-inforces the new opportunities which have been opened up in the women’s game.

“The Puma event had been planned for a while so we flew out to Germany and Jay-Z was one of the speakers,” said Weir. “We were out doing a bit of shopping and Jay-Z popped in so we were chatting and he was a really cool guy. Although I am probably more of a Beyonce fan, I am a fan of his, I know he is an icon and a legend, and a lot of people were pretty jealous of me afterwards. He was asking about Manchester City and about football and basketball. It was just one of those surreal moments, I couldn’t really believe it was him.

“It all shows you how year on year it is improving, the opportunities on the pitch, off the pitch, have gone up another level,” she added. “Off the back of the World Cup, it is just a case of trying to maintain that through the WSL season. People are taking a lot more notice and I feel very lucky to be at the club I am and the position I am right now.”

This good fortune is surely deserved when you consider the ill luck which saw Weir and Scotland exiting this summer’s World Cup in hugely controversial circumstances, after blowing a three-goal lead against Argentina. Weir got the eighth and final goal as Shelley Kerr’s side got back on the horse with an 8-0 European Championship win against Cyprus and, with a visit to Elbasan to take on Albania next month, isn’t the type to dwell too much on what went on, and what went wrong, out in France.

“It is a bit easier to look back on it all now I guess,” said Weir. “At first, I didn’t want to see a football again for a few days. Or watch the rest of the World Cup. We got two weeks off, just two weeks of relaxing because it had been such a long season. And that was really important for me I think, to come back refreshed and ready to go.

“The Argentina match was a crazy night. At the time I couldn’t believe what had happened, to be 3-0 up, we really shouldn’t have let that go, but these things happen. We need to make sure that it doesn’t happen again.

“But ultimately for me it was a dream come true to represent Scotland at a World Cup, something I wasn’t sure I would ever be able to do. We learned so much as a team to play at that level and in front of those crowds. It is one we will build on and are coming back stronger from.”

Weir might be in the big league now, but she is thankful to the role played by her coaches at youth level, first at a boys’ club in Dunfermline until the age of 10, and then in the women’s system at Hibs, where her dad Lindsay was involved in the admin side. “My dad didn’t actually coach, he did all the behind scenes stuff instead. That was a good decision I think!”

***Caroline Weir was speaking at the Scottish FA Grassroots Football Awards supported by McDonald’s at Hampden Park which honour grassroots heroes all across the country. Find out more about all the winners at