Foot­ball’s shame

Clare re­veals why the FA banned the women’s game in the 1920s When Foot­ball Banned Women

TV Times - - Interview - Caren Clark

Who Do You Think You Are? isn’t the only op­por­tu­nity for Clare Bald­ing to delve into the past this week. In C4’s When Foot­ball Banned Women Clare in­ves­ti­gates what led the Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion to put a stop to the women’s game in 1921. Clare tells TV Times more…

The story of women’s foot­ball has been wiped from his­tory… Dur­ing the First World War, women’s foot­ball was en­cour­aged to boost morale, and hun­dreds of teams were formed from the girls in the mu­ni­tions fac­to­ries. The girls sold out sta­di­ums and raised thou­sands of pounds for char­ity, but after the ban on them play­ing on

As­so­ci­a­tion grounds, they could only play in pub­lic parks. and scored 1,000 goals in her ca­reer. There was a real swag­ger about those women be­cause they felt re­leased from the kitchen.

The FA saw women’s foot­ball as rev­o­lu­tion­ary… It was chal­leng­ing the es­tab­lished idea that women were meant to be sub­servient. When men re­turned from the war, the FA said it was phys­i­cally un­suit­able for women.

My fam­ily backed women’s foot­ball… I asked my sec­ond cousin, the Earl of Derby, whether the then Earl was sup­port­ive of the Dick, Kerr Ladies be­cause they played in his neck of the woods, and I was thrilled to find out he was.

The women’s game is still suf­fer­ing now… To­day’s play­ers are still fight­ing their way back from the ban, which lasted half a cen­tury.

This week’s Euro­pean Cham­pi­onships are a chance for women’s foot­ball to make its mark… The match on Wed­nes­day is be­tween Eng­land and Scot­land and if peo­ple aren’t in­ter­ested in that, then I’ll be dis­ap­pointed.

doc­u­men­tary / 10.00pm / C4

dur­ing and just after World War One, as to­day, the top foot­ballers min­gled with film stars and drew vast crowds to matches, and their ev­ery move filled news­pa­pers. These foot­ballers were women, many of whom played for teams made up of fac­tory work­ers sup­port­ing the war ef­fort. To tie in with the Women’s Euro­pean Cham­pi­onships start­ing this week, a jus­ti­fi­ably out­raged Clare Bald­ing in­ves­ti­gates why, in 1921, the Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion banned the women’s game at the height of its pop­u­lar­ity, and looks at the im­pact of the 50-year ban by talk­ing to to­day’s fe­male play­ers. An eye-open­ing watch, even for non-foot­ball fans, about a lit­tle-known side of soc­cer his­tory.

The Dick, Kerr Ladies team

Lily Parr was the Li­onel Messi of her day… She played for the Dick, Kerr Ladies in Pre­ston Team leader: Cur­rent Eng­land cap­tain Steph Houghton

Dick, Kerr’s Ladies foot­ball team in 1921

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