A hundred years ago there was a team called "Dick Kerr Ladies" in the UK, which attracted both public and money.
When the men went to war during the First World War, it was the women who took over the jobs in the factories. Thousands of men died and were injured as a result of the war, and support was needed for those affected.
Gail Newsham, author of the book "In a League of Their Own! the Dick, Kerr Ladies 1917-1965 ”says:
- The girls made ammunition in the factories and played football with the guys on the breaks. That's how it started.
The women then decided to start playing charity matches and paid to contribute to the families who needed money. At most, 53,000 spectators came and 14,000 were reported to have waited kindly outside. They simply couldn't fit. A breathtaking figure that still qualifies today in the top ten over women's most viewed matches.
Four of the players in Dick Kerr Ladies. Photo: British Pathé
Dick Kerr Ladies during one of their charity matches. Photo: British Pathé Women were forbidden to play football in the stadiums
But when the war was over in 1918 and the men returned to everyday life, the hard bang came. The English Football Association, FA, had received complaints about women playing football. Football was, according to the complaints, inappropriate for women to play and a too small share of the money went to charity.
Therefore, on December 5, 1921, the English Football Association banned clubs from organizing matches played by women. A devastating decision for football. But especially for the women who practiced it.
"The ban lasted for 50 years and it was the last century's biggest injustice in sports," says Gail Newsham.
See the feature of the player below and the unique pictures of "Dick Kerr Ladies" from the First World War.
The story of "Dick Kerr ladies"
Photo: British Pathé