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  • Writer's pictureAmy Kate - The Red Way

Today marks 100 years of the darkest day in Women’s Football in England




England in the early 20th century, the women’s game had grow just a quickly as the men’s. It was at it’s peak when the men had gone off to serve in the first World War.


There is documentation of women’s football dating back to 1894 in England when The British Ladies’ Football Club was founded by female activist, Nettie Honeyball. Women like her paved the way for women’s football. Even though the women’s game gain popularity there were still some people who frowned upon women playing football as they thought it to masculine of a sport for ladies to play. The Women’s game continue to grow despite the lack of support by the British Football Associations.

PAWTUCKET, RHODE ISLAND:Dick, Kerr Ladies F.C. 1922 North American tour.

During the First World War, football gained even more popularity. On Boxing Day in 1917 A women team from England and Ireland played each other in front of a crowd of 20,000 spectators. By 1920 the women’s game was is steadily growing. Many of the women’s games were more popular in attendance than the men’s. 3 years later, the women drew a crowd 53,000, once again on Boxing in Liverpool at Goodson Park by the country’s most popular team at the time, Dick, Kerr Ladies in 1920.



December 5, 1921 Women’s football would be changed forever in England. On this day the FA outlawed women from playing on Association members' pitches or on any FA grounds stating that "the game of football is quite unsuitable for females and ought not to be encouraged.” Despite the FA banning women from playing, some women's teams continued to play but without their support the game became A fraction of what it used to be.


According to “The Athletic”, The FA official reason for the ban was about money, the ticket money. They had heard complaints about “the appropriation of the receipts” from women’s football matches. They did not want that money going to the wrong hands: those of the players.


It was another 50 years until the ban was finally lifted in 1971 but it practically destroyed the women’s game in England.


In 2008, 87 years later, that the FA finally issued an apology for banning women but Ultimately the damage was done.


I came across an article from the Athletic that talks in detail About the ban. You can read the full article, by clicking on the link https://theathletic.com/1808868/2020/05/19/womens-football-ban-england-fa/?amp.


Women’s football has made huge strides in the last 50 years in England but I can’t help but think what could’ve been if the ban was never issued.







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