A FORMER Welsh footballer from Barry has been awarded the freedom of the town.

Barry at a special award ceremony on Monday, February 26.

Former Wales and Barry Town Ladies striker Ayshea Martyn received the freedom of Barry Award for her achievements in football at a ceremony on Monday, February 26.

Ms Martyn was nominated for the award after achieving 26 caps for Wales and scoring five goals during her international career.

The striker moved to Arsenal after Barry Town announced their withdrawal from women’s football in 2002 following problems of recruiting players.

Ms Martyn played for Arsenal for three seasons before moving to Bristol Rovers to play in the Southern Division.

Barry And District News: Ayshea Martyn with councillors at the award ceremony on Monday, February 26. Picture: Barry Town CouncilAyshea Martyn with councillors at the award ceremony on Monday, February 26. Picture: Barry Town Council (Image: Barry Town Council)Her goals in her club career helped secure promotion for Barry Town ladies to reach the National Division, now known as the Women’s Super League.

Mayor of Barry, Cllr Ian Johnson said: “It is a great honour to nominate Ayshea for this award, marking a career as a Welsh international, playing as a striker at the top of women’s football for many years and securing Barry Town's promotion to the Women's National Division, alongside Arsenal, Liverpool, and others.

“Ayshea played 26 times for Wales, scoring match-winning goals against Northern Ireland and Portugal, as well as against Poland, Belarus, and the Republic of Ireland.”

The freedom of the town is a prestigious accolade presented by the Barry Town Council in recognition of outstanding contributions made towards sports, arts, science, or the community of Barry.

Some of the notable personalities who were awarded the freedom of Barry in the past include Lee Selby, the Boxing World Champion, David Davies, the Olympic and Commonwealth medal-winning swimmer, and Deirdre Beddoe, the Professor Emeritus of Women's History.

Ms Martyn is the third sportswoman to win the Freedom of Barry Award, after Archery Champion Teresa Goodwin was awarded in 2017 and Sophie Ingle, Captain of the Welsh Football team in 2018.

Cllr Johnson added: "At Barry, she helped secure two promotions, and won the Welsh Cup four times in a row. She fully deserves to have her achievements remembered through the Freedom of Barry Award.”

The nomination was seconded by Council Leader, Cllr Bronwen Brooks, and passed unanimously by the Council.