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