One of the A-League Women’s most inspiring figures, New Zealand International Rebekah Stott, has received the PFA’s Community Medal for raising funds and awareness for blood cancer patients. 

Stott’s world came crashing down in February 2021 when she was diagnosed with stage three Hodgkin’s lymphoma and underwent intensive chemotherapy for four months in Melbourne.

The diagnosis brought Stott’s career in England’s FA Women’s National League to a premature close and ended her hopes of representing the Football Ferns at the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics in July 2021.

After her diagnosis, Stott’s immediate focus pivoted from advancing her professional football career to the frightening and uncertain prospect of surviving cancer.

Despite the physical and mental toll of treatment, Stott raised awareness for those suffering from blood cancer, journaling her experience via personal blog,, to help educate and inspire other cancer patients and provide a platform to share their personal stories. 

The 28-year-old defender also raised $39,000 for the Leukaemia Foundation through the World’s Greatest Shave and has partnered with Australian charity Canteen Australia to provide ‘beat it.’ bags to young patients undergoing treatment.

Stott said she was overwhelmed by the recognition of the PFA and her peers.

“I’m incredibly honoured to receive this award and truly thankful for everyone’s support over the past 12 months,” Stott said.

“From the very beginning of my battle with cancer I was determined to help inspire other people going through similar challenges and to be able to connect with people has inspired me along the way.

“I would like to thank my family and friends, my teammates, the PFA and the wider football community for their ongoing support. It’s been truly overwhelming, and I wouldn’t have been able to do what I have without it.”

PFA Co-Chief Executive Kathryn Gill, who presented Stott with the award at Melbourne City training, said Stott had inspired professional players the world over and became a role model for others facing similar adversity.

“Stotty has been so amazingly resilient and faced every health challenge with incredible courage,” Gill said.

“She has become an inspiration for so many. Her positive approach to adversity and desire to return to health, regain fitness and once again play professional sport, alongside her willingness to raise awareness and give back through charitable initiatives, are a testament to her character and qualities as a person.”

Stott first returned to the football pitch for Bulleen Lions in Victoria, before featuring in her ninth A-League Women’s season where she made her 100th appearance in the competition. In February, Stott reappeared on the international stage with the Football Ferns.

The PFA Community Medal recognises the outstanding contribution PFA members are making within their communities and reflects the PFA’s commitment to ensuring football creates positive social impact.

The PFA will donate $2000 to the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne where Stott was treated, through the PFA’s charity arm, Footballers’ Trust.

Stott joins Robbie Cornthwaite, (Beards of Hope), Nigel Boogaard (Hunter Life Education’s Ocsober campaign), and Luke Brattan(Leukaemia Foundation) as PFA Community Medal winners.

Photos: By The White Line