Does anybody know who these women are? No? Ok, well, these women are famous for their football. These women were one of the earliest known to women’s football. 1917 to 1965 to be precise. Which is 48 years. This phenomenal team went on to create history in women’s football, even in football as a non-gender specific sport! Read up more about Kerr Ladies here: http://www.dickkerrladies.com/
Now, time for some interesting facts about the history of the most loved sport on earth. Estimated at about 3.5 billion fans, football is adored by many, hated by few.
Fact 1: Women’s football was banned in 1921. Why?
The build up to the ban on women’s football in 1921 was, and still is, remarkable. Lily Parr, one of the most exceptional football players to bless the sport. She broke the arm of a professional male footballer, and she was also the first (recorded) female to get a red card for fighting. Women took on men’s jobs when they went to fight, and also took their place on the football field.
The beloved game being played by women hadn’t been very well accepted, especially before WWI. The Football League banned all games in the 14-15 season. In the 1900’s that is. Initially, the morals for playing women’s football was to raise money for war charities. Their passion was extraordinary, and in 1917 The Munitionette’s Cup was invented. The two standouts were star forward Bella Raey, who scored a hat-trick (on top of her 130 goals, just for that season) and Jennie Morgan. Morgan apparently went straight to the game after her wedding. Boxing Day 1920, a game between Kerr Ladies and St Helens Ladies attracted 53,000 spectators. This was women’s footballs golden era. And unfortunately it was to be short-lived.
The war was over in 1921 and women were to return to their “right and proper” lives. Top (female) physicians stated that football was “unsuitable” and “too much for a women’s physical frame.” With the FA banning the sport for women, the growth of male’s participated returned. Although, women still continued to play. 50 years later, in 1971, the ban was lifted, and now only 100 (almost) years later, are we beginning to attract the same amount of spectators as our predecessors.
Fact 2: No evidence of women playing football in the 18th century.
Fact 3: It was said that if men were accompanied by women at football games, their behaviour would be better. Women then received free entry and over 2,000 women turned up for their first free entrance in 1885 thanks to Preston North End.
Fact 4: The first official match took place by women was on 23rd March, 1895.
Fact 5: The first game between the North and South ended 8-3. I am honestly not being bias.
Fact 6: David Lloyd George, British Prime Minister, encouraged these games. But because the image was reinforced that women were doing the men’s jobs needed to fight for war.
Fact 7: First England v France games (unofficial). England won 2-0, then 5-2, 2-2, and the final game France managed to win 2-1 at Stamford Bridge, home to Chelsea FC.
Fact 8: Winston Churchill allowed a night game between Kerr Ladies and the rest of England to use two anti-aircraft searchlights, generation equipment and forty carbide flares to floodlight the match.
Fact 9: The women have played at well known football grounds known to some of the best teams in the world. Old Trafford – Manchester United, St James – Newcastle United, Goodison Park – Everton, Preston North Ends venue and many more.
Fact 10: In 1921, during the Miners Lock-Out, women’s football associated itself with charity, and to help labour movement, which led to being labelled as a politically dangerous sport, contributing to the ban of women’s football.