Chinese Football Association (CFA)

Chinese footballer Zhang Ouying, part of the Steel Roses team at 1999 Fifa Women’s World Cup, dies aged 43 after cancer battle

  • Striker was part of a team that remains the high point of Chinese football for men or women
  • Went on to coach football to thousands of youngsters in adopted home of California
PUBLISHED : Sunday, 02 December, 2018, 5:05pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 02 December, 2018, 11:03pm

Zhang Ouying, who played for China when they finished second to the USA at the 1999 Fifa Women’s World Cup, has died aged 43.

The former international footballer was diagnosed with lung cancer earlier this year.

Hebei-native Zhang was a key part of the team dubbed the “Steel Roses” and came close to lifting the Women’s World Cup. After a 0-0 draw in front of 90,000 fans at Pasadena’s Rose Bowl, the game went to penalties.

Zhang scored in the shootout but China went on to lose to the hosts 5-4.

The runners-up finish remains the high point of Chinese football for men or women.

The China captain would go on to play two more World Cups in 2003 and 2007 as well as two Olympics.

Zhang returned to the US to live in 2006, settling in California with her American husband.

She coached football to thousands of children in the San Diego area over the years, where she was known as “Coach O”.

A crowd funding page had been set up to help with the costs of treating her disease and it had raised over US$151,000 as of Sunday afternoon.

Since her death fans have begun to pay tribute in the comments section.