Federação Inglesa de Futebol Feminino

Federação Inglesa de Futebol Feminino


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Em 1966, a Inglaterra ganhou a Copa do Mundo. Este evento despertou o interesse pelo esporte e um número crescente de mulheres começou a jogar futebol. A Women's Football Association (WFA) foi formada em novembro de 1969 por David Marlowe e Arthur Hobbs. Inicialmente, o WFA tinha 44 clubes membros. Em julho de 1971, a Associação de Futebol concordou em levantar a proibição que proibia as mulheres de jogar em clubes afiliados.

A WFA estabeleceu uma competição de copa feminina em 1971. Na primeira final, Southampton venceu Stewarton e Thistle por 4-1.

Por muitos anos, Dick Kerr Ladies representou a Inglaterra contra seleções estrangeiras. A primeira seleção feminina oficial da Grã-Bretanha aconteceu em Greenock, em novembro de 1972. A Inglaterra venceu a Escócia por 3-2.

Em 1983, a WFA afiliou-se à Associação de Futebol. Embora o Comitê Feminino da FA fosse presidido por um homem, todos os outros cargos importantes eram ocupados por mulheres. As mulheres também foram nomeadas para treinar as seleções da Inglaterra (Hope Powell) e da Escócia (Vera Pauw).

Os ingleses chegaram à final do primeiro torneio feminino da UEFA em 1984 e, em 1985, venceu a primeira competição "Mini Copa do Mundo".

O futebol feminino continua crescendo em popularidade. Em setembro de 1991, a WFA estabeleceu uma liga nacional com 24 clubes. O número de equipes femininas que jogam na Grã-Bretanha aumentou de cerca de 500 em 1993 para cerca de 4.500 em 2000. Também há mais de 6.500 treinadoras na Grã-Bretanha. Em 2002, a Football Association publicou dados que sugerem que o futebol se tornou o esporte mais popular para meninas e mulheres na Grã-Bretanha.


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Quando as mulheres jogaram futebol pela primeira vez?

A primeira partida de futebol feminino registrada no Reino Unido foi em 1895, onde o Norte venceu o Sul por 7-1, mas foi só na Primeira Guerra Mundial que o futebol feminino realmente cresceu em popularidade.

Anteriormente, as mulheres eram desencorajadas a praticar o esporte, mas durante a guerra os proprietários de fábricas decidiram que seria um bom ânimo para as mulheres trabalhadoras e, portanto, aumentaria a produção. E assim, o futebol feminino foi incentivado.

Dick, Kerr Ladies F.C. foi fundada em Preston como uma equipe de trabalho para a empresa Dick, Kerr & Co, que produzia munições para a guerra. No intervalo do almoço, as mulheres jogavam futebol na rua e, depois de derrotar os homens que também trabalhavam na fábrica, decidiram formar um time.

O time atraiu grandes multidões e jogou em jogos de caridade para arrecadar dinheiro para militares feridos durante e após a guerra.

Em 1920, havia cerca de 150 times de futebol feminino ingleses. Entre eles estavam a equipe Bolkclow, Vaughn & Co de Middlesbrough, batizada com o nome da fábrica em que trabalhavam, e as senhoras Blyth Spartans.

Nesse mesmo ano Dick, Kerr Ladies F.C. jogou o primeiro jogo internacional feminino contra uma equipe de jogadoras francesas, vencendo-as por 2 a 0 diante de uma multidão de 25.000. E no Boxing Day daquele ano, a equipe atraiu uma multidão de 53.000, com milhares de fora, jogando com as damas de St. Helen no Everton Goodison Park Ground, batendo de longe o maior público masculino do Everton naquele ano, de 39.400.

Mas nem tudo era para ficar rosado por muito tempo ...

Por que a FA baniu o futebol feminino?

A FA havia tolerado o futebol feminino durante a guerra, quando os homens estavam fora e era necessário dinheiro para os soldados. Mas quando a Primeira Guerra Mundial terminou e a multidão para os jogos de futebol feminino continuou lotada, a FA temeu que o comparecimento à Liga de Futebol fosse prejudicado. E assim, em 5 de dezembro de 1921, a Associação de Futebol proibiu as mulheres de jogar futebol em campos afiliados à FA.

A organização afirmou: “O jogo de futebol não é adequado para mulheres e não deve ser incentivado”.

O estudo encontrou apoio de médicos que afirmam que jogar futebol coloca as mulheres em sério risco físico. Os dirigentes da Football League também apoiaram a decisão e as afirmações da comunidade médica, com o chefe do Arsenal Leslie Knighton dizendo: “Qualquer pessoa familiarizada com a natureza das lesões sofridas por jogadores de futebol masculinos não poderia deixar de pensar - olhando para as meninas jogando - que deveriam eles receber golpes semelhantes e esbofetear seus deveres futuros, já que as mães ficariam seriamente prejudicadas. ”


História da final da FA Cup Feminina

A primeira competição da FA Cup Feminina, conhecida como & lsquoThe Women & rsquos Football Association Mitre Challenge Trophy & rsquo, ocorreu na temporada 1970-71 sob os auspícios da extinta FA Feminina.

Os 71 participantes foram colocados em oito grupos geográficos e até incluíram algumas equipes da Escócia e do País de Gales. O Southampton venceu o time escocês Stewarton por 4 a 1 em uma final disputada no Crystal Palace National Recreation Centre, em Londres.

Desde que a FA assumiu o controle direto do futebol feminino inglês em 1993, os times semiprofissionais afiliados à Premier League e à Football League masculinos tendem a dominar a competição. Para a primeira, em 1993-94, houve a entrada de 147 times e Doncaster Belles venceu o Knowsley United por 1 a 0 na final no Scunthorpe United & rsquos Glanford Park.

O Arsenal venceu a competição por um recorde de 14 vezes, a última delas em 2016, quando o gol de Danielle Carter e rsquos deu a vitória ao rival londrino Chelsea em Wembley, local da Final desde 2015.

Mas os Blues se vingaram dois anos depois, quando Ramona Bachmann marcou duas vezes para ajudar o time de Emma Hayes e rsquos a vencer a Copa pela segunda vez diante de uma multidão recorde de 45.423.

Lista de resultados finais:

2019 Man City 3-0 West Ham
2018 Chelsea 3-1 Arsenal
2017 Man City 4-1 Birmingham City
2016 Arsenal 1-0 Chelsea
2015 Chelsea 1-0 Notts County
2014 Arsenal 2-0 Everton
2013 Arsenal 3-0 Bristol Academy
2012 Birmingham City 2-2 Chelsea aet (Birmingham vence por 3-2 nos pênaltis)
2011 Arsenal 2-0 Bristol Academy
2010 Everton 3-2 Arsenal aet
2009 Arsenal 2-1 Sunderland
2008 Arsenal 4-1 Leeds United
2007 Arsenal 4-1 Charlton Athletic
2006 Arsenal 5-0 Leeds United
2005 Charlton Athletic 1-0 Everton
2004 Arsenal 3-0 Charlton Athletic
2003 Fulham 3-0 Charlton Athletic
2002 Fulham 2-1 Doncaster Belles
2001 Arsenal 1-0 Fulham
2000 Croydon 2-1 Doncaster Belles
1999 Arsenal 2-0 Southampton Saints
1998 Arsenal 3-2 Croydon
1997 Millwall Lionesses 1-0 Wembley
1996 Croydon 1-1 Liverpool aet (Croydon venceu por 3-2 nos pênaltis)
1995 Arsenal 3-2 Liverpool
1994 Doncaster Belles 1-0 Knowsley United
1993 Arsenal 3-0 Doncaster Belles
1992 Doncaster Belles 4-0 Red Star Southampton
1991 Millwall Lionesses 1-0 Doncaster Belles
1990 Doncaster Belles 1-0 Amigos do Fulham
1989 Leasowe Pacific 3-2 amigos do Fulham
1988 Doncaster Belles 3-1 Leasowe Pacific
1987 Doncaster Belles 2-0 St Helens
1986 Norwich 4-3 Doncaster Belles
1985 Amigos do Fulham 2-0 Doncaster Belles
1984 Howbury Grange 4-2 Doncaster Belles
1983 Doncaster Belles 3-2 St Helens
1982 Lowestoft 2-0 Cleveland Spartans
1981 Southampton 4-2 St Helens
1980 St Helens 1-0 Preston North End
1979 Southampton 1-0 Lowestoft
1978 Southampton 8-2 QPR
1977 QPR 1-0 Southampton
1976 Southampton 2-1 QPR aet
1975 Southampton 4-2 Warminster
1974 Fodens 2-1 Southampton
1973 Southampton 2-0 Westhorn United
1972 Southampton 3-2 Lee & rsquos Ladies
1971 Southampton 4-1 Stewarton e amp Thistle


O início

Vários condados reivindicam ser o berço do futebol feminino gaélico. Há uma sugestão de que uma liga paroquial foi organizada em Corraclare County Clare em 1926 por Tom Garry de Clonreddin. Durou alguns anos, mas depois desapareceu gradualmente.

Os anos 60 parecem fornecer a primeira evidência real dessa "nova mania", como era chamada na época. Durante anos, as mulheres da Irlanda, como a maioria dos países, ficaram meio passo atrás dos homens. A Gaelic Athletic Association cresceu e prosperou ao longo de oitenta anos.

De alguns mil espectadores na virada do século passado para assistências regulares de mais de 70.000 foi uma grande melhoria. Pelo menos um terço desses espectadores eram mulheres. Os anos 60 foram uma década de mudanças. A cidade de Liverpool soltou um grupo chamado Beatles e o mundo nunca mais seria o mesmo. Gritos de libertação para as mulheres varreram as placas. O conteúdo do belo sexo não deveria mais ser considerado um dado adquirido.

Em todas as facetas da vida, eles começaram a ganhar destaque, não mais satisfeitos com as tarefas domésticas. A mulher de carreira nasceu. O esporte era uma saída óbvia. O atletismo havia sido bem e verdadeiramente conquistado, o camogie também se consolidou junto com a participação feminina no tênis, badminton e hóquei, etc. No entanto, as mulheres jogando futebol gaélico - Aquele era um que certamente levantaria a sobrancelha.

O futebol gaélico era considerado um jogo masculino em todos os sentidos. Um esporte físico difícil que parecia muito além das capacidades das mulheres. A participação das mulheres foi considerada no papel de espectadoras, torcendo (não muito alto) seus heróis. Gaelic Games desfrutava de um monopólio. Praticamente todas as famílias tiveram envolvimento direto, seja como jogador, oficial ou espectador. Consequentemente, era um assunto diário na boca da maioria das pessoas.

Talvez fosse inevitável que as mulheres fossem para os campos de jogos, Carvinals e Festivais estavam no auge. As organizações estavam em busca de novas ideias para obter financiamento. O futebol feminino se enquadrava nesta categoria. Em pequenos bolsões espalhados pelo país, como Clonmel e Ballycommon, em Offaly, eram organizados jogos. Era a Irlanda das tradicionais encruzilhadas, jovens em busca de algo para fazer, o dinheiro era escasso, a recreação tinha que ser barata. Um desses locais foi o cruzamento de Killmurray no condado de Faithful, quando os jovens se reuniram nas noites de verão no final dos anos 60.

Os rapazes se mudaram para o campo de futebol ao lado da escola Kilmurray para tentar imitar os grandes feitos daquele excelente time de três em linha de Galway, ou os menores Offaly de 64. As meninas não se contentaram em ficar de lado e ver os procedimentos. Na verdade, os Malones, os Todds, os Walshes e Mary Bridget Boland estavam empenhados em provar que as mulheres poderiam, se tivessem a chance, ser igualmente proficientes no “Peil Gaelach”. Duas garotas ambiciosas do grupo, Maureen Malone e Mary Bridget Boland começaram para procurar competição. O treinamento começou, os rapazes estavam sempre lá para dar dicas de coaching, principalmente Paddy Ferry. Conhecidos como Ballycommon, eles se aventuraram em torneios de sete jogadores, colocando suas habilidades contra Lorra e Redwood (Tipperary) e St. Lomans de Westmeath.

A conhecida personalidade de Tullamore, Michael Noel Byrne, atualmente oficial de desenvolvimento do Offaly G.A.A.Board, desempenhou seu papel na organização de um torneio que viu Ballycommon derrotar o Marian Hostel Tullamore na final. A equipe que faz história foi dividida da seguinte forma - Geraldine Todd (goleira), Mary B Boland, Ann Malone, Mary Todd, Maureen Malone, Annette e May Walsh. A notícia se espalhou para Kilcormac e os confrontos Ballycommon -Kilcormac que se seguiram geraram grande excitação. Havia três Buckleys e três Malones em oposição direta e nas palavras de Maureen Malone "costumava haver assassinato, mas nos encontraríamos em um baile no Marquee mais tarde e isso seria esquecido".

Os jogadores só precisavam de um jogo e Rene Brennan, Martina Conroy. Essie Walsh, Evelyn Malone, Frances Mc Donald, Tara Mc Donald, Teresa Maher. Terá boas lembranças de inúmeras viagens na van volkswagen cinza Tom Malones e na Cortina de Paddy Feery.

Seamus Aheame do comitê do Dungarvan Gala Festival organizou um torneio em junho de 1968 e atraiu um grande público, e no verão seguinte o Nacionalista Clonmel publicou um aviso de uma partida de futebol feminino gaélico em 10 de julho ”. atração inédita no Clonmel Sportsfield hoje à noite (quinta-feira) às 20h30

Um jogo de futebol feminino entre a equipe dos Correios de Clonmel e o escritório do County Council foi organizado, a admissão será de 1 / - e os lucros irão para o Fundo de Alívio de Biafra.

O tempo padrão para não se aproximar do da equipe masculina Kerry provará ser uma atração em mais de uma maneira. Algum bom entretenimento deve ser oferecido e o público é convidado a apoiar uma causa muito nobre ”.

Provavelmente por pura curiosidade, junto com aquela causa nobre, uma grande multidão compareceu a um jogo que os Correios venceram. Uma semana depois, o jornal relatou um alto padrão, mas as pontuações eram difíceis de encontrar.

A interpretação das regras causou problemas e isso foi muito evidente durante os primeiros anos. As regras dos homens foram aplicadas e isso levou a alguns incidentes de arrepiar os cabelos.

Para o registro, as equipes se alinharam da seguinte forma:

PÓS-ESCRITÓRIO: Betty Mc Carthy, Helen O Flynn, Mary O Connor, Pat Hoare, Ann O Meara, Monica Sayers, Eileen Bolger, Ann Nolan, Kathleen Nolan, Eileen Bowes. Ann Sheehan, Bernie Cullen, Joan O Dwyer, Judy Cleere, Breda O Meara (capitão).

SUBS: Ann Ryan, Joan Ryan, Mary Dennehy.

CONSELHO DO CONDADO: Noelle Dempsey. Aileen Acheson, Maura Dalton, Carmel O Brien, Eileen Ryan, Josephine O Callaghan, Theresa O Regan, Kathleen O Brien, Mary O Dwyer, Pat Lynch, Kitty Connolly, Margaret Dawson. Ann O Connell, Mary O Keefe, Mary Keane.

SUBS: Una Cooke, Joan Mc Carthy.

O jogo aguçou o apetite dos jogadores e também dos espectadores e uma semana depois os Correios jogaram o Carrick-on-Suir Exchange como era feito naquela época. O Clonmel somou a segunda vitória e o sucesso nestes dois jogos levou à organização de um campeonato.

Oito equipes de várias organizações participaram - Burkes Bacon Factory, Clonmel Industries, Showerings, Currans, Schiessers (2 equipes) e Trail Blazers, os Correios e o Conselho do Condado. A Liga foi organizada por MI O Shea, Michael O Connell e Pierce Butler, e se autodenominou Comitê Organizador do Futebol Feminino. Os árbitros do torneio foram Jimmy Collins, William Robinson e Tommy Mc Donald Junior.

Na ocasião, a arrecadação, que era considerável, foi para os Refugiados do Norte, para serem encaminhados pela Cruz Vermelha. No dia 12 de outubro, a final entre Showerings e Post Office, com Jimmy Collins, um proeminente oficial do clube de hurling de St Mary como árbitro.

O jogo foi jogado em um campo do tamanho de uma camogie e foi coberto pelo repórter esportivo nacionalista “ATLAS”, juntamente com um fotógrafo da equipe. Progresso de fato. Houve um grande acúmulo, os Correios nomearam Christy Aylward como gerente com MI O Mahony encarregado de Chuveiros.

Os jogadores podiam levantar a bola diretamente do solo. Embora Showerings tenha liderado os estágios iniciais, a equipe mais experiente dos Correios foram vencedores convincentes e eles foram devidamente presenteados com seus troféus naquela noite em um evento no Ormonde Ballroom Clonmel.

O homem pousou na lua em 1969, mas isso teve que dividir o faturamento em torno de Clonmel com a novidade do futebol feminino. Naquela época, Clonmel era uma cidade próspera e atraía grande parte de sua força de trabalho de áreas vizinhas, como Ballymacarbry, Newcastle, Ardfinnan e Fethard. Era natural que os jogadores trouxessem as novidades do seu novo passatempo para as suas paróquias de origem e foi isso mesmo que aconteceu.

O verão de 1970 viu clubes formados em Ballymacarbry, Newcastle, Ardfinnan, Kilsheelan e Fethard. Os torneios eram realizados regularmente, entre os patrocinadores estava Clonmel Junior Chamber. Alguns clérigos astutos viram o jogo como um bom arrecadador de fundos paroquial. O interesse foi fenomenal. A maioria das jogadoras era jovem elegível e isso trouxe os "garsuns" locais para ajudar a aumentar o público, para o deleite dos organizadores. O clube Ballymacarbry foi oficialmente formado na terça-feira, 7 de julho de 1970, com Winnie Hallinan como presidente, Peg Kelleher como secretário e Noreen Hannigan como tesoureira. O Festival de Ardfinnan foi um evento de prestígio para o G.A.A. local times e quando adicionaram o futebol feminino à lista de eventos foi um grande passo. Oito equipes participaram e foi reduzido para a equipe anfitriã e Newcastle.

Antes do início da final, as equipes desfilaram atrás da Convent Girls Pipe Band de Clogheen. Newcastle treinado por Tony Rushe venceu e eles foram presenteados com seus prêmios, saia-Iengths, pelo cura local Fr Morrissey.

Os clubes ainda precisavam arrecadar dinheiro para suas necessidades individuais. A coleção do portão da igreja era popular junto com uma dança no salão local. Havia uma rivalidade local feroz ao longo de ambos os lados do rio Suir, o elemento Waterford -Tipperary foi um fator, Newcastle e Ardfinnan sempre tiraram partido de todas as barreiras em G.A.A. e as senhoras não eram diferentes.

Ajudou os atendimentos e um jogo entre Newcastle e Ballymacarbry, em um N.F.A. torneio patrocinado, atraiu mais de 500 espectadores ao Mill Field Ballymacarbry. O nacionalista relatou que ambas as equipes realizaram um jogo maravilhoso antes de Eileen Bolger, do Newcastle, marcar o gol da vitória. Ironicamente, Eileen era natural de Ballyrnacarbry e isso aumentava a rivalidade futura. Agora o jogo estava se espalhando. Emly convidou várias equipes para um torneio do festival, incluindo Solohead, Clonmel, Ardfinnan. Duas semanas depois, havia se espalhado pela fronteira de Limerick até Oola e Pallasgreen. O futebol feminino realmente chegou.

O ano terminou com a liga South Tipperary - West Waterford disputada em rodadas duplas, e o Newcastle confirmou sua superioridade sobre os times locais. Assim terminou o primeiro ano de verdadeira competição na região e as sementes foram semeadas com segurança. Por fim, as senhoras das áreas rurais tinham um meio de recreação que não só lhes proporcionava exercícios saudáveis ​​e divertidos, mas também as apresentava ao público. 1971 seria um verdadeiro teste. A novidade inicial havia passado e agora o jogo teria que se firmar por seus próprios méritos, com o objetivo de melhorar o status dos jogos, uma convenção foi convocada em Clonmel em março. Um quadro de jogos Tipp sul foi criado para organizar uma liga adequada e arranjar jogos. A essa altura, Ballymacarbry e os vizinhos Touraneena haviam formado uma equipe e em uma semana Killrossanty gostou. No sábado, 24 de julho de 1971, o Dungarvan Observer divulgou o anúncio de que um campeonato de futebol feminino seria disputado em Waterford. Foi decidido que todos os jogos seriam disputados em Leamybrien, um pequeno vilarejo a 11 quilômetros de Dungarvan na estrada de Waterford.

Um conselho municipal foi estabelecido sob a presidência do Pe. Percy Ahearn, natural de Colligan, com Margaret Foley como secretária. Duas semanas depois, a primeira partida do campeonato aconteceu e Ballymac obteve uma vitória de seis pontos sobre Killrossanty. O campeonato foi patrocinado pela Muintir Na Tire e disputado por campeonato. Kill, Fenor, Stradbally e Abbeyside também participaram. Ballyrnacarbry e Killrossanty qualificaram-se para a final no dia 2 de setembro. Ballyrnacarbry tornou-se o campeão inaugural por uma diferença de dois pontos. Enquanto isso, Tipperary também organizou um campeonato e duas semanas depois Ardfinnan surpreendeu o favorito Newcastle ao conquistar o primeiro título Tipperary. Com a competição de clubes indo bem, surgiu a ideia de um jogo entre condados. O padre Ahearne e Jim Kennedy e John O Donovan de Tipperary resolveram os arranjos e no domingo, 3 de outubro, Tipperary enfrentou Waterford em Ballypatrick, um pequeno vilarejo próximo a Clonmel, no sopé de Slievenamon. No que foi provavelmente o primeiro jogo de futebol feminino entre países. Tipperary venceu por alguns pontos.

No norte de Cork, uma série de torneios e jogos de desafio também aconteceram. Knockscavane, Ballydaly, Banteer, Newtownshandrum, Freemount, Boherbue e Buttervant começaram a jogar entre si e os espectadores começaram a responder. Da mesma forma, em Kerry a tendência era a mesma, carnavais, festivais ou qualquer outra meia dúzia de causas foram recebidos com uma resposta positiva. A grande tradição do futebol de Kerry significava que as mulheres estavam prontas, dispostas e capazes de entrar em campo. Muitas vezes, as meninas se levantavam para fazer os números, elas não podiam deixar de se interessar por uma dieta constante de arremesso e futebol de pais e irmãos. O futebol feminino deu a elas a oportunidade de realizar seus próprios sonhos. Roscommon era outro condado com forte tradição. No entanto, foi o futebol de 7 a que deu início ao jogo. Clan na Gael, Ballintubber e Lisnamult foram os instigadores. Indivíduos como P J Lennon e Marie Holland e Michael Naughton promoveram o jogo. O conselho do condado de Roscommon também desempenhou seu papel com Pat Burke como treinador.

O início dos anos 70 também assistiu à redução gradual da maré de emigração. Nas duas décadas anteriores, as oportunidades de emprego eram limitadas, portanto, para uma grande porcentagem dos jovens, havia apenas uma alternativa - o barco para a Inglaterra e mais um campo. No entanto, economicamente, a Irlanda começou a realizar seu potencial. Foi uma era de investimento estrangeiro, especialmente por parte de empresas americanas, e isso ajudou em grande parte a manter a juventude na Irlanda. No entanto, era necessário viajar dentro do país e esse fluxo levou à promoção do futebol feminino. Um novo ambiente, novos amigos e uma chance de divulgar as novidades. Cork começou com um campeonato divisionário em 1973. A final foi disputada em Banteer no dia 2 de setembro e Knockscovane venceu Ballydaly por 3-4 a 2-3.

Uma semana de carnaval realizada na cidade de North West Cork viu Cork enfrentar Kerry em um jogo que atraiu uma multidão de 2.000 espectadores. O árbitro da ocasião foi Denny Long, meio-campista inter-condado de Cork. Denny foi membro do time de futebol sênior de Cork que ganhou o título sênior da All Ireland pela primeira vez desde 1945, algumas semanas antes. O lado Kerry foi escolhido por Mick Fitzgerald e um escocês chamado Alex Rintnel. Cork teve uma verdadeira estrela em Bridie Brosnan, enquanto Mary Geaney de Kerry contribuiu com 2-6, enquanto o Reino venceu por 5-10 a 4-11. Em Offaly, o G.A.A. estava desfrutando de um boom e o futebol feminino se beneficiou em conformidade. Havia uma Associação Offaly muito forte em Dublin e ela estava dando uma forte contribuição no campo de jogo, onde desempenhava um papel importante na arrecadação de fundos para o condado de Faithful. Envolvido ativamente na Associação estava Brendan Martin, natural de Tullamore. O irmão de Brendan, Tom, tinha uma casa de férias em Stradbally County Waterford que Brendan visitava regularmente. Durante uma dessas visitas, ele conheceu um grupo de meninas voltando de uma partida de futebol e, portanto, uma conversa casual levou a uma partida organizada entre o grupo de Dublin e Stradbally.

Isso aconteceu algumas semanas depois. Brendan ficou impressionado e o contato posterior com seu condado natal levou Kerry a ser convidado para Offaly. Foi anunciado como um All Ireland oficial da ONU e resultou em uma grande vitória para os donos da casa. No final de 1973, havia evidências suficientes para sugerir que o jogo estava em uma base sólida. O responsivo é positivo. Os campeonatos de clubes provaram ser muito populares. Mas os vários desafios intermunicipais trouxeram uma nova dimensão. Os jogadores ansiavam pela chance de usar as cores do condado. Era hora de organizar o jogo nacionalmente. Os doze meses seguintes foram moldar essa estrutura particular.

1974 trouxe a revitalização do futebol gaélico. Tinha perdido um pouco de seu glamour, mas o surgimento dos Dubs com Kevin Heffernan como empresário trouxe a multidão de volta. A colina 16 tornou-se uma instituição à medida que os espectadores introduziam um espirituoso repertório de canções, uma seleção de faixas junto com as cores tradicionais, enquanto a Taça Sam Maguire voltava à capital pela primeira vez desde 1963. Tornou-se moda jogar futebol novamente como o A tendência em que o código estava sob a ameaça do futebol inglês foi revertida.

Croke Park se tornou um caldeirão, a atmosfera era fantástica e o G.A.A. beneficiado em conformidade. O futebol feminino também deu passos gigantescos. Vários conselhos de condado foram criados. A casa de Michael Naughtons em Lisnamult Co Roscommon foi o local para uma reunião que criou um conselho municipal na quarta-feira, 26 de junho. Marie Holland foi eleita presidente com Michael Naughton como secretário-tesoureiro. O comitê incluiu PJ Lennon, Elizabeth O'Brien, Patrick Burke, Margaret Flanaghan, Ann Naughton, Patricia Kilroe e Ann Crean. Isso levou ao início de um campeonato municipal. Clan na Gael ganhou o primeiro título de condado derrotando Ballintubber no C.B.S. campo em Roscommon em uma linha de pontuação de 3-6 a 4-2 em um jogo de crack.

Foi convocada uma reunião em Killurney, uma pequena aldeia de Tipperary, com o objetivo de constituir uma associação nacional. Pessoal de vários condados compareceu e alguns jogadores foram a favor de uma viagem ao exterior, seja para a Inglaterra ou para a América. Jim Kennedy e John Donovan foram inflexíveis - primeiro organize o jogo na Irlanda e depois fale sobre viagens. Decidiu-se convocar outra reunião e tentar obter. mais delegados. Hayes Hotel Thurles foi o local escolhido. Noventa anos antes, a Gaelic Athletic Association foi fundada neste famoso hotel e na noite de quinta-feira, 18 de julho, quatro condados de Tipperary, Offaly, Galway e Kerry foram representados. A Ladies Gaelic Football Association foi oficialmente fundada. Jim Kennedy de Tipperary foi eleito presidente. Jim era natural de IKillenaule e sargento do Exército. Ele serviu no Congo e em Chipre nos anos 60 e, nessa época, ele morava em Clonmel e era instrutor no F.C.A. em Cahir. Mary Nevin de Kilcornlac em Offaly assumiu o cargo de secretária. Mary trabalhou com o Eastern Health Board no Hospital Mater em Dublin, mas jogou futebol com Margaret Flanaghan de Kilcornlac Roscommon se tornou tesoureira. Margaret nasceu e tocou no Ballintubber, ela foi sócia fundadora de seu clube e trabalhou como fisioterapeuta no hospital municipal em Roscommon. Marie Holland, também de Ballintubber, oficial do Departamento de Agricultura, tornou-se vice-presidente com Joe Feighery de Offaly como secretário assistente e Brendan Martin como tesoureiro assistente.

Foi decidido realizar um campeonato inter-condado sênior com cada condado pagando uma taxa de £ 10 para cobrir as medalhas. Oito condados de Roscommon, Laois, Offaly, Galway, Kerry, Cork, Waterford e Tipperary manifestaram interesse em participar. Os quatro condados de Munster foram sorteados em oposição e concordaram em jogar o campeonato de Munster com base na liga. Decidiu-se redigir um conjunto de regras, visto que havia diferentes interpretações com alguns condados usando o conjunto completo de G.A.A. as regras. Roscommon foi sorteado contra Laois, Offaly foi sorteado contra Galway junto com o campeonato Munster.

Na quinta-feira, 8 de agosto, um conselho do condado de Kerry foi formado no Austin Stack Pavilion em Tralee. Richard Williams da Fossa Killarney foi eleito presidente, Joan Kelleher tornou-se secretária com Pat Lawlor de Ardfert como tesoureiro. Uma segunda reunião foi realizada nas salas comerciais do hotel de Kelly em Portlaoise. As regras de jogo foram discutidas e um total de quarenta regras foram elaboradas. Vários deles eram semelhantes aos do G.A.A., sendo o mais notável que uma bola de futebol tamanho 4 fosse usada, um jogador n: ay pega a bola claramente do chão. O tradicional 50 deveria ser tirado de 30 jardas para fora [semelhante ao camogie]. Nos dois anos seguintes, as reuniões foram realizadas em vários locais diferentes, incluindo o Famham Arms Hotel em Cavan, Bolgers Hotel Tullamore, o Shamrock Lodge Hotel em Athlone, Egans Hotel Birr, Lawlors Hotel Dungarvan, The Royal Hotel Roscommon e o American Hotel em Eyre Square Galway.

Os delegados proeminentes do condado durante esse período incluíram Offaly Phyllis Hackett, Ballycumber Joe Feighery, Ballycommon Mick Talbot, Kilcormac Tom Kenny Banagher, Tipperary John Donovan Kilsheelan, Derry Shanahan Littleton Mick Lonergan Golden, Richard Ann Tradally Ballymacarbry de Waterfordale Carthy Ballymacarbry, Noreal Tradally de Noreen Begally, Kerry Ballymacarbry de Waterfordal Carthy. Mick Fitzgerald Castleisland, Laois Tom Daly e Eileen Maher Stradbally, Cork Tommy Tucker Ballydaly Nora Mitchell Little Island, Roscommon Michael Naughton Lisnamult Ann Dolan Ballintubber, Galway Pack Conway Corofin. O campeonato começou, tanto Laois quanto Roscommon tinham times inexperientes.

O conselho do condado de Laois não foi formado até 1976, mas Joe Strahan, do hospital Portlaoise de St Fintans, providenciou para que Peter Dunne treinasse um grupo de 25 senhoras interessadas em representar o condado. Roscommon também não teve prática de jogo e Laois avançou para a próxima rodada. Galway formou um conselho com Frank Kearney (Torloughmore) como presidente, Margaret Colleran (Pe. Griffens) como secretária e Bridget O Brien como tesoureira. Pat Conway (Corofin) convidou Offaly para viajar a Galway para um jogo do torneio e um mês depois os times se enfrentaram em Kilcormac no campeonato. Fazia parte de um festival e uma banda desfilou os times.

A equipe de Galway, composta principalmente por jogadores de camogie, era muito jovem, incluindo duas meninas de quinze anos. Offaly teve três anos de competição entre os condados atrás deles e marcou uma vitória impressionante de 5-5 a 1-3. No sul, no campeonato Munster, o Tipperary derrotou o Waterford por 3-8 a 2-6 em Fethard e, em seguida, com uma boa vitória sobre Cork. Kerry também derrotou Waterford e Cork para se qualificar para a final de Munster contra Tipperary em Kilsheelan no dia 15 de setembro. Tipp liderou por seis pontos no intervalo, mas teve que sobreviver em uma finalização violenta por um único ponto 2-6 a 2-5 com Eleanor Carroll e Mary Mc Grath marcando os gols vitais. Duas semanas depois, Offaly enfrentou Laois em Portlaoise. Offaly era o favorito, mas o condado de O Moore não tinha lido o roteiro e Offaly teve a sorte de registrar uma vitória de 3-6 a 2-6. Assim, Tipperary e Offaly iriam disputar a primeira Final Sênior da All Ireland.

Tipp havia se preparado diligentemente durante todo o ano. John O Donovan estava encarregado do treinamento e seus colegas seletores foram Sean Gorey, Jim Kennedy e Teddy Keane. eles treinaram no Rockwell College, onde tiveram o uso de excelentes instalações e geralmente terminavam a sessão com um mergulho na piscina. Em setembro, eles se mudaram para Ferryhouse nos arredores de Clonmel porque era iluminado. A Barlows Ltd foi procurada para patrocínio e doou um conjunto de camisolas. A apresentação foi feita pela diretora da empresa Carrie Acheson, que mais tarde se tornaria T.D. Offaly com formação em ambos C.H.S. escola em Tullamore e em Kilmurray Cross. O irmão Sylvestor Kearney, Joe Feighery e Mick Talbot garantiram que Offaly estivesse bem preparado. A final foi fixada para o condado de Durrow, em Laois, no domingo, 13 de outubro de 1974, às 15h30. com Paul O Sullivan de Kerry o árbitro nomeado.

Uma conferência de imprensa foi convocada para Hayes Hotel na noite de quinta-feira antes do jogo. Os organizadores estavam preocupados com a falta de cobertura e procuraram dar um impulso ao jogo histórico. Teve o efeito desejado, no sábado, o Evening Press publicou a manchete Abram caminho para aquele outro All Ireland Liam Kelly escreveu “Mova o Exército de Heffo, as garotas de Offaly e Tipperary estão atrás da coroa do All Ireland Football. Mas os Dubs não precisam ter medo. As meninas têm seu próprio Campeonato da Irlanda para disputar, então ”.

Na tarde de domingo, o repórter Dan Coen da Irish Press e o fotógrafo John Rowley viajaram para Durrow. The following day Dan reported under the heading II All Ireland first for the women”- it had not the huge crowds but yesterdays first Ladies All Ireland football final between Offaly and Tipperary (the winners by a single point) had all the enthusiasm and thrills of many an All Ireland in Croke Park. Tipperary won the toss and elected to play uphill and thats exactly what they did, for though the pitch was in excellent condition the incline would put the heart crossways in any trainer who might find his team trailing at the half way stage and having to face it in the second half. The play was fast and tough and as referee O Sullivan said -“not without a great deal of expertise”. Tipp were older too and maybe this combination helped them to become the first champions on a new branch of the G A A which is hoping for full affiliation with the Association headquarters.

Towards the end of the first half Tipp were in a comfortable lead of 1-2 to 0-0, and it seemed despite the determined play of the Offaly women and the vocal support from the sidelines that the match was over. However Mary Nevin sec of the ladies G.A.A. and a sub on the Offaly team told me to keep an eye on her side because they never said die. She was right, for within minutes of the restart Offaly took the lead with a goal. Still Tipp came back and with about eight minutes to go went ahead with a point from a free and that was that

Tipperary had won the first All Ireland Ladies Football final in a score of 2-3 to 2-2. The enthusiasm was there with much umbrella waving and shouting and calling an all the saints in Heaven and sometimes for the devil to do something about the flagging fortunes of either side. It was a great day for women’s football, and a nice ladylike touch was added when the Offaly captain Agnes O Gorman presented the cup to the Tipperary captain Kitty Ryan. With a bit of luck more than eight counties will take part in next years championship and the All Ireland will be played in Croke Park.

The Tipperary supporters led by cheer leader Gertie Strappe a supermarket owner from Golden were in jubilant mood after the game. Winners of the first All Ireland senior hurling title way back in 1887, they became the first county to receive what over the years has become a coveted prize the Brendan Martin Cup. After the game both teams adjourned to a local hotel where they had in the words of Jim Kennedy- ” a bit of a do”. There they chatted and in many cases began friendships that were to span the next decade. For Tipperary there was no majestic home coming, but the following night they travelled to Ardfinnan the home club of captain Kitty Ryan where they were awarded a reception hosted by the local Ardfinnan G.A.A. club. That was followed by a mayoral reception in Clonmel with doing the honors. It was a disappointed but very determined Offaly team that made the relatively short journey home on Sunday evening the 13th October. Theirs was a very young side and surely the experience gained would stand to them in the future. They were not to know that it would take another four years of hard work coupled with several disappointments before they landed the big prize.

The game also caught the imagination of the Evening Press and the Monday edition gave it liberal coverage under the heading “HATS OFF TO THE GIRLS” before continuing “IF THE OFFALY G.A.A. LADIES DIDN’T WIN THE ALL IRELAND AT DURROW, LAOIS, YESTERDAY THEY SET A STYLE ON HEADGEAR THAT HEFFO’S ARMY -OR ANY OTHER ARMY FOR THAT MA TTER – COULD EMULATE WITH ADVANTAGE.”

It was the first such clash and it dispelled any illusion that this kind of sport in not for the gentle sex. Offaly the vanquished are still powdering their wounds -the 30 girls on the pitch and their legions of supporters have little to learn of the fine points of the game. On page 3 there was photographs ofMary Buckley, Fidelma Geraghly, Rena Brennan, Urusla Corrigan and Catherine Hanlan wearing distinctive caps that wouldn’t have been out of place at a Paris fashion show.

Four weeks later the Sunday Press continued the welcome coverage with a feature on Tipperary captain Kitty Ryan under the heading “KITTY IS ON THE BALL” The Press continued with a quote from Jim Kennedy ” Ladies football is a very serious business and were to be taken seriously. Its not just a gimmick or a flash in the pan. Ladies football is catching on and the girls are taking it very seriously”

Kitty continued ” we get big crowds when there’s no other sporting attractions to draw them away. Some of the lads might come along for a laugh at the girls but I think most of them now realise that we can play good football”.

Thus 1974 came to an end with the game firmly established in eight counties. The players of today owe a great debt of gratitude to the trail blazers both on and off the field, who put down the solid foundation that has stood Ladies football in such a good stand over a quarter of a century.


Why women's football was banned for 50 years – and is only just recovering

In 1921, the FA declared football “quite unsuitable for females” and outlawed the sport. Carrie Dunn looks at how far the game was set back.

Please note: This article first appeared in the December 2016 issue of FourFourTwo

A 12-year-old girl sat on a bus, flanked by her parents, en route from Prescot to Manchester for a football match. She wasn’t going to watch she was going to play. Unremarkable? Today, certainly. But it was the 1950s, and girls and women were under strict edicts not to play – from none other than the FA.

That 12-year-old girl was Sylvia Gore. She had always loved football, and as a child would kick a ball around with her father and uncle, learning the techniques like millions of other children the world over. “The local football team, Prescot Cables, used to look for me at half-time so I could come on and kick a ball in the goal – they accepted it,” Gore said in May 2016. “A lot of men up and down the country didn’t.”

The FA’s ban on women’s football began in 1921 – a kneejerk reaction to its popularity. The world-famous Dick, Kerr’s Ladies – plus a handful of other outfits – had helped to fill the gap left by the Football League’s hiatus during the First World War, and attracted huge attendances to their games as they raised money for charity.

Up to this point, women’s football had been running almost parallel to the men’s game. A trailblazing player using the pseudonym Nettie Honeyball had formed the British Ladies’ Football Club at the end of the 19th century, and her team toured the country to play exhibition games. Although spectators may have originally turned up to delight in the undignified spectacle, reports from the time suggest they found themselves enthralled by the quality of play.

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These games were intermittent, though, and didn’t detract or distract from the important business of men’s football. Dick, Kerr’s Ladies and their contemporaries were the real threat. The FA lost patience with the women after Dick, Kerr’s and St Helens brought 53,000 fans through the Goodison Park turnstiles on Boxing Day 1920, believed at the time to be the largest gate at any football match in England since records began.

One year later, English football’s governing body passed a resolution declaring the sport “quite unsuitable for females” and informing men’s clubs that they should refuse to let women play at their grounds. The achievements of Dick, Kerr’s Ladies were pushed into the shadows by a footballing establishment that was embarrassed by women’s success.

Gail Newsham, a footballer herself in the 1970s, became the historian of Dick, Kerr’s Ladies. Her labour of love was to chronicle a half-century of clandestine sporting history that had been ignored as best as possible by the football authorities. Growing up in Preston, she’d heard her father talk about watching women play. A local celebration in 1992 gave her the chance to bring Dick, Kerr’s alumni together.

“I advertised in the local press for anybody who knew anybody to get in touch, and the appeal worked,” says Newsham.

“I could not believe it. Hardly anybody knew anything about them in those days, until I did all that research and found out about them.”

As Newsham talked to the players who’d been part of the Dick, Kerr’s phenomenon, she saw photos that made her realise just how popular women’s football had been, contrasting starkly with her own experience of playing during a later era when female footballers were completely ignored. She sighs: “The first lady I saw showed me a picture of the team in the ’50s, and I couldn’t believe the number of people on the touchline. We had the manager and his dog – but nobody else came to watch us.”

Newsham realised that if history was to be preserved, then she would need to do it herself – and quickly. She first published her book In A League Of Their Own! in 1994 and updated it in several subsequent editions as she continued to gather information. She has a particular fondness for the Dick, Kerr’s striker Lily Parr, a chainsmoking tearaway who found the back of the net more than 1,000 times in her career, and whom Newsham wishes got wider recognition.

“When I see statistics and [mention of] the best players ever, nobody ever thinks of the Dick, Kerr’s Ladies and what they achieved,” explains Newsham. “They should be included. Without them, we wouldn’t have this history. Nobody else in the world has got this history except us.”

Even though governing bodies tried to pretend otherwise, there were newspaper archives for Newsham to explore, chronicling the history of Dick, Kerr’s into the 1960s. Much to the dismay of the chauvinists and suits, these female footballers refused to be put off by something as petty as a national ban. Independent organisations governed the game, with the Women’s FA taking control in 1969. Essentially, women’s football was English sport’s best-kept secret.

Yet the ban did hamper them: they were forbidden to use football facilities, were shunted onto rugby pitches, scrubland, schoolfields – whatever they could find.

“We played on park pitches in Frog Lane and had nothing,” Sylvia Gore recalled of her time representing Manchester Corinthians. “We just had an old hut and we used to get washed in buckets of water that the manager brought across. We had no heating, nothing.”

Sue Lopez, who spent all but one season of her 20-year playing career with Southampton, tells FFT that in the 1950s and ’60s, she and many of her Saints team-mates began by joining in with their male friends. “I used to play football with two boys – neighbours of mine,” she recalls. “Whenever they were about, we would all have a kickaround.

“The girls would grow up in these great big tower flats with a bit of green in the middle for a kickaround. That’s why it is good now that the FA have woken up to allowing decent mixed football up to a certain age – because that’s how you learn, by playing with other good people. If it’s just a bunch of girls and only two or three are any good while the rest are hopeless, you’re not going to learn a lot.”

Without girls’ football teams in schools, many of Lopez’s friends and team-mates came to the game late. Often they were excellent in other sports, representing their county or their country, and simply fancied a change. “They were sportswomen, which was good because that gave them a feeling of how to be a sportsperson, whether it be football, netball or whatever, and not to go out drinking on a Friday night,” she laughs.

“We used to play at Southampton Common and it had a pub called The Cowherds,” Lopez continues. “That tells you what it was back in Victorian times: people’s cattle probably did feed on this bit of ground. The football pitches were really rough, with no nets, and we used to play at places like that most of the time. Even when we got another ground – a men’s ground – some of those weren’t that brilliant.”

It’s perhaps not too surprising, then, that talented footballers such as Lopez became frustrated with all the obstacles put in their path. In 1971 she decided to move to Italy, where she played for Roma, albeit not as a professional – just receiving her expenses. She shared a flat with one of her Giallorossi team-mates and enjoyed a year playing on better pitches in front of bigger crowds.

Lopez reluctantly headed back to England when the Women’s FA expressed a concern that players abroad might compromise their amateur status – which would in turn lose the WFA funding from the Sports Council.

“I didn’t really want to come back,” she admits. “They kept on threatening that they would ban people who went to play in Italy. I still had my mum and family and friends here, and I thought: &lsquoDo I want to stay in Italy forever?’ So I had to make a decision. I thought that I could come back to England to shut them up and then maybe go back out there again later, but unfortunately I didn’t.”

Lopez returned to Southampton the same year she left – 1971 – and helped to shape the team into one of the most impressive forces in women’s football. It coincided with the official lifting of the ban on women playing, but that didn’t mean they were immediately given all the support they required. The FA invited the Women’s FA to affiliate to them, much as a county FA would do, and left them in control, essentially as a network of volunteers with precious little resources. The clubs continued to run themselves as best they could.

“It was difficult to find someone to run the team,” says Lopez. “We never had anyone top-notch, but they were nice people and they did their best. Training was so basic: our warm-up was in a school. We’d just run around the netball court.”

Whenever the weather was bad or if their usual facilities were unavailable, the female players had to take a more innovative approach to training. One of the volunteers worked at a local post office and came up with a bright idea when the team couldn’t even find a school gym to use. Lopez remembers: “He said, &lsquoOh: I’ll open up the post office where all the post goes in.’ There were all these bags and we’d have a run around them. At least we were in the warm. Those are the lengths we would go to.”

The lack of structure in the women’s game meant the young players were immediately being thrown into the first team, with very little chance to develop their skills first.

“We would get some good, young, promising players, but we had no youth teams,” remembers Lopez. “Sometimes we’d take them on if we thought they could manage against us, at least in training, and then we’d give them a match when we played a weak team. It was difficult to accommodate the need.”

Lopez thinks that the FA’s failure to embrace the female game has created the serious problems that it still faces today. England are still playing catch-up with some of the countries that were early adopters of women’s football. The reluctance to acknowledge the obstacles faced by previous generations suggests that at some point the errors of the past may well be repeated. An over-reliance on the goodwill of volunteers, and a subtle condescension to the players that they are even permitted to compete at all, may lead to a breaking point.

“They didn’t want to help they didn’t want to do anything,” says Lopez of the FA’s presence in her playing days. “It was just negative.”

That was different, however, when there was a showpiece occasion. Lopez and her Southampton team dominated the FA Cup for a decade after its creation in 1970/71, appearing in 10 of the first 11 finals and winning eight of them. Wherever the final was held – Bedford, Dulwich, Burton – there would be an interloper in attendance to shake hands and present the trophy. “We’d go to the cup final,” says Lopez, “and this top-notch bloke, whoever he was, would come along and present the trophy. We’d think, &lsquoWell, who are you?’”

The same thing happened at international level as well. Even though representative England teams had been competing for years, it was not until the FA lifted their ban that caps and goalscorers began to be acknowledged. Still, the England team did get to play on slightly better pitches, so as not to outrage the visiting dignitaries. As Lopez explains: “For an international match, some FA bod would turn up wearing his blazer, so it would have to look half-decent."

After paying her way through a series of trials, Sylvia Gore was picked for the first official England squad, and scored their first goal. Her strike helped England come from 2-0 down to beat Scotland in November 1972 – more than 50 years since the FA banned women from playing football 55 years since Dick, Kerr’s Ladies began to tour the UK and the world as representatives of England and nearly 80 years since the British Ladies’ Football Club was formed.

Lopez won 22 caps during her career, in a time when international matches were infrequent. They were difficult to arrange, there were few opponents and players were having to take time off work, before finding themselves out of pocket. “We were all very proud,” she says. “We thought we were getting a bit of acclaim for all our efforts.”

After Lopez retired from playing, she compiled a history of the game. Women on the Ball is still the most accessible and authoritative account of the way female footballers kept their own sport running for decades.

“I was proud of what we did, and also of the Women’s FA,” she says. “This was my way with dealing with my anger about how women had been treated in football. It was a hidden story, and it made me sick.”

Lopez even managed Southampton in the mid-2000s. Then she was made redundant when the men, relegated from the Premier League, stopped funding the women’s team.

Gail Newsham’s own footballing career was equally short of funding. She remembers one particular ground where the changing rooms were chicken huts with an oil drum to use as a toilet. “[The grounds] weren’t a lot to write home about – I don’t recall there being any hot water or anything like that,” she says. “It was pretty shocking, really. That really is playing for the love of the game.”

A love of the game was something Sylvia Gore never lost. She volunteered across the north-west, providing girls and young women with better opportunities to play than she’d ever had, and sat on countless committees governing local football. Manchester City Women invited her to become their club ambassador, acknowledging her work, and she had plans to be reunited with her old Manchester Corinthians team-mates. She organised the reunion for the end of the 2016 Women’s Super League season, in full expectation that City would be parading the championship trophy by then.

Gore did not live to see the Blues’ maiden WSL title win. After a short illness, she died in September 2016, aged 71. Her life and career were acknowledged with media attention and marked with a minute’s silence at matches.

“I would love the girls today to realise the effort involved,” reflects Lopez, who, like Gore, was awarded an MBE and inducted into the National Football Museum Hall of Fame for services to women’s football. “It’s not saying, &lsquoYou’re lucky so-and-sos and we’re jealous’ it’s that there are loads of Sylvias who worked hard, and men – fathers, brothers, local people – who backed women’s football.”

Similarly, Newsham issues a stark warning of the dangers of forgetting history sooner rather than later, the pioneers who kept the women’s game alive in the face of the FA’s instructions will all be gone. In 1993, the FA formally took control of the female game. Two decades later, during the Women’s European Championship, they celebrated “20 years of women’s football” – effectively erasing the century of history that they’d tried so hard to suppress.

This could well be the dawning of a second golden age for women’s football. All the more reason to be sure to remember the struggles of everyone involved in shaping the game – including that 12-year old girl from Prescot.

This article first appeared in the December 2016 issue of FourFourTwo

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"In terms of the England team, the person who we should really be celebrating is Kerry Davis - who debuts in 1982 against Northern Ireland and makes an instant impression by scoring two goals.

"Kerry was born in '62 and her father is of Jamaican heritage, her mother is white-British, and Kerry was born in Stoke."

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Davis herself said: "My generation and the generation before me did blaze a trail because, without those generations, the FA would not have been able to take over a reasonably successful England team."

Mary Phillip was the first black player to captain the England side - in 2003.

She said: "It was an amazing honour to be awarded that armband and lead England out on several occasions.

"I was the first female to have children and play, not just at club level, but also reaching international level.

"You don't realise the significance of it, because you are just going out and doing your thing."

The Football Association says "BAME engagement will be at the forefront of our [women's football] strategy over the next four years".

The tribute feature, which also hears from Anita Asante and Courtney Sweetman-Kirk, also examines the case of Emma Clarke and hears from a historian that the player recognised as the first black British female footballer may actually be the subject of mistaken identity.

Click play on the video at the top of the page to watch our special report in full.

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The Forgotten History of Women’s Football

This season, to much media acclaim, the National Football League hired its first female referee and two female coaches (one intern and one full-time). Considering the attention these additions generated, one could be forgiven for thinking that women were just beginning to get into the sport at any professional level. But in the period between World War I and II, a women’s football league was nearly popular enough to become mainstream entertainment.

Little is known about this short-lived women’s football craze. What remains are the photographs of players from Los Angeles that appeared in two national magazines: first Vida in November 1939, then Clique the following January. The black-and-white photos showed tough-looking women dressed in full football uniforms, including helmets, pants and shoulder pads. The magazine articles provided hardly any information about these pioneering athletes, though, other than assuring readers that they played “hard, fast” regulation tackle football.

Who were these women, and why did their football league disappear after only one season, despite the Clique article’s assertion that it would be expanding nationwide the next fall? Many might assume that public disapproval was to blame. “There was an identification of football with masculinity, much like boxing or wrestling. For women to be playing it would have been seen as an extreme violation of the gender norms,” says football historian Michael Oriard, who mentions the Los Angeles players in his 2004 book King Football. There may be a different explanation for the league’s demise, though, one that has more to do with the women themselves.

My first clue was one of the teams referred in the Vida article: the Marshall-Clampett Amazons. I had come across a Marshall-Clampett fastpitch softball team from Los Angeles while researching my book on the history of the sport (the team was named after its car dealership sponsor). A search of the California newspaper archives turned up an article in the Palm Springs Desert Sun that confirmed the Marshall-Clampett football and softball teams were not only related but were, in fact, the same team—the football players featured in the Vida article were actually softball players first and foremost.

It’s likely that the three other teams in the Los Angeles women’s football league were composed of softball players, too. In a 2013 blog post, Melitas Forster, a former Marshall-Clampett player, recalled that a softball promoter had organized the football league. Women’s softball was extremely popular in the late 1930s, especially in Los Angeles, where Hollywood celebrities attended games. O mesmo Desert Sun article discussed a charity softball game between the team and a men’s squad that included silent film star Buster Keaton. (Incidentally, the Marshall-Clampett players wound up defeating Buster Keaton’s Palm Springs team, 5-4.) The women’s football games appear to have been an attempt to capitalize on this popularity and extend ticket sales from fall, when the softball season ended, into winter.

If this was indeed the plan, it worked. In addition to attracting national media attention, the games drew crowds of 3,000 or more.

There were some negative reactions to the women’s football games. A news wire article published November 1939 described them as an invasion of “one of the last strongholds of masculinity.” The Vida article also argued that football was too dangerous for women, warning that “a blow either on the breasts or in the abdominal region may result in cancer or internal injury.” Still, the more likely reason the Los Angeles league ended was that the players were already committed to softball, which offered considerably more opportunities than football did. Being featured in national magazines paled in comparison to the perks that came with being a 1930s Los Angeles softball player, which included traveling to overseas destinations, such as Japan, and getting to appear in movies, such as the 1937 Rita Hayworth film Girls Can Play.

Though football was likely more dangerous, the Los Angeles players still played physical enough of a softball game to incur strained muscles and the occasional concussion. But there was little incentive for them to risk hurting themselves playing unless the league expanded, and it didn’t. “Let the boys get their heads kicked off. We’ll stick to softball,” some of the players told the Orange County, California, Notícias diárias.

A year later, in the summer of 1941, a second women’s football league attempted to form. This time the setting was Chicago, and once again, many of the players came from softball. The teams only played a few games, though, and they received little publicity other than a few local newspaper articles. By the next year, with the U.S. entrance to World War II, talk of women’s football mostly disappeared until the 1970s, when a semi-professional league based primarily in Ohio and Texas emerged. This league received more media coverage, with articles in magazines, such as Texas Mensal, Ébano e Jet. It failed to reach a wide audience, though, and, like the 1939 California league, was soon forgotten.

The cost-benefit analysis that the Amazons of the 1930s made has had a modern-day resurgence. Retired football player Antwaan Randle-el told The Washington Post that if faced with the decision again to play football or play baseball (he was drafted in the 14th round by the Chicago Cubs), he would select baseball, citing football’s physical toll.

And with the inherent dangers of playing football becoming daily news material, it’s unclear that a professional women’s football league will ever again take hold.


But then the women's game was effectively banned

On 5 December 1921, the Football Association banned women from playing on FA-affiliated pitches which meant stars like Lily Parr could no longer play at grounds with spectator facilities.

The FA at the time said "the game of football is quite unsuitable for females and ought not to be encouraged".

In 1971 the ban was finally lifted following the formation of the Women's Football Association (WFA) a couple of years earlier.


Scottish Influence in Shaping Uruguayan Football.

Uruguay, a country with such impressive footballing history and success, have a strong chance of achieving World Cup glory in Russia. Their nation is incredibly passionate about the game, and offer undying loyalty to anyone who wears the famous Sky Blue jersey. If you were to investigate the origins of Uruguayan football, you would find some rather fascinating information and stories that reveal the substantial Scottish presence which helped shape Uruguayan football.

Above: William Poole.

One single, charismatic individual provided the impetus for turning kick-abouts into regular, professional competition. Anglo-Scot, William Leslie Poole, considered the ‘Father of Uruguayan Football’ was a school teacher and founder of the English High School of Montevideo. Pupils of his school created the ‘Albion Football Club’, Uruguay’s first football club, in 1891. At the time of his arrival, there were already some clubs practicing football informally in Uruguay such as the Montevideo Cricket Club, founded in 1861 (the first rugby club outside the United Kingdom), and the Montevideo Rowing Club, founded in 1874, though none as formal as Ablion. This new football club would play their games across the Rio del la Plata region against Argentine teams in Buenos Aires and Rosario. The club would also be originally chaired by a Scot called: Willie J. MacLean.
Initially, no foreign players were allowed to participate in the sport. Yet, Poole insisted on the participation of both nationals and foreigners with no distinction of race, language, religion, political opinion or economic position. This open-minded approach would change the mindset of the locals and fans of the game. Footballtuned into an instant success in the country, becoming a shining light for communities allowing people of different nationalities, social class and ethnicity to come together in competition.
Poole himself played for Albion FC but is best remembered as an influential administrator and referee. He was then elected as President of the Uruguay Association Football League (Uruguayan FA) in 1901.
The Montevideo City Hall paid honor to Poole by dedicating a place called “Espacio Libre William Leslie Poole” between Constituyente and Vásquez avenues in the Uruguayan capital.


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