Saturday 23 May 2015

Women's Football in WW1

According to an Italian, saying ‘cows and wives should come from the same village’ which would appear to illustrate an old fashioned attitude towards women and could go some way to explaining why the Italian women’s football team is currently under threat.

Women’s football was played in public for the first time during the First World War.  A fascinating book called “In a League of their Own” written by Gail Newsham tells the story of the women factory workers who played that historic game on Christmas Day 1917.  The Dick Kerr’s Ladies Football Team played the match at Deepdale Football Stadium in Preston, Lancashire.  The match was seen by 10,000 people and the girls raised the equivalent of almost £50,000 in today’s currency for the war effort.

Teams of women from munitions factories and other establishments played against each other during WW1 for silverware. The Dick Kerr’s team went on to travel to play against teams in France and America, taking the idea of women’s football out into the world at large.

Women’s football became so popular that after the war it was banned by the Football Association in the UK and did not start up again until the 1970s.   Germany also banned women’s football until 1970.

Gail Newsham also has an excellent website where you can find out more about The Dick Kerr’s Ladies Football Team in the First World War