Ddespite women being fired from large numbers of jobs and the return of men’s football after its cessation between 1915 and 1919, women’s play flourished in the early 1920s, with Dick, Kerr Ladies – a well-known factory team from Preston – in front.
In 1920, the team will play four international domestic competitions against a French team led by women’s sports defender Alice Milliat in Deepdale, Stockport, Manchester and then Stamford Bridge. The team then went to France and played in Paris, Roubaix, Le Havre and Rouen. It will prove to be a very popular visit and in the return of the team to England, the excitement for a planned Boxing Day match against St Helens opponents at Goodison Park is growing. However, few people could have predicted the impact of the earthquake that would have on the future of women’s football.
On the day of the match 53,000 spectators would head to the ground for the game, according to player Alice Stanley’s diary, another 10-15,000 fans left the field at their capacity. It will be a record of 92 years – until the Brazilian GB team defeated Wembley at 70,584 at the London 2012 Olympics – and remains the largest domestic game in England in women’s football, with 38,262 people watching Arsenal lose. make a. Tottenham at the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on 17 November 2019 at No. 2.
It was reported that she broke another record, with ya Lancashire Evening Post said on 28 December 1920: “The most interesting holiday door, however, was yesterday morning at Goodison Park. [Boxing Day] that Dick, Kerr Ladies defeated St Helens 4-0 in a match on behalf of formerly unemployed and disabled working men. The total was estimated at ,000 53,000 and receipts in addition to tickets were. More than ,000 3,000. “This is an easy record for a charity event in the UK.”
The money collected that day was 140 140,000 today. This caught the attention of those watching the Dick, Kerr Ladies and other women’s teams with disbelief and fear. This match will be very successful which will lead to the collapse of the women’s game.
The FA and the political establishment were not blinded by the growing popularity and success of women’s football. The large sums of money that were collected were beyond their control and control. Worse, that money was no longer collected to support the wounded of the war, but was sent for political and working-class reasons – reasons opposed to the organization.
So, a year after more than 53,000 spectators came out to watch at Goodison Park, the FA voted to ban women’s football. The sports authorities did not have the power to ban women from playing at all – this was not possible, so they decided to ban women’s games from FA-affiliated football fields. The ban was to last 51 years.
The decision of the FA Advisory Committee reads as follows:
“Complaints made about women playing football have forced the Council to express a strong view that the game of football is too inappropriate for women and should not be encouraged. Complaints were also made about the terms and conditions of dropping and playing some matches and giving prizes in addition to charitable items. The council is also of the opinion that an excessive percentage of the revenue is taken in expenses and an insufficient rate is donated to charitable causes.
“For these reasons the Council urges Clubs affiliated with the Association not to use their ground for matches like this.”
This was not the first time the FA had tried to restrict the game. In the 1890s, the FA Council sent warnings to clubs about using their fields for women’s matches. In 1902, the FA passed a bill banning all-inclusive sex games, but there is also some evidence to suggest that the ban has been extended to the use of women teams in FA-affiliated fields. There are references to this meaning that it was still in place until 1917.
The existence of these bans in 1902 may provide an explanation for the decline of the game after its popularity in the late 19th century.
Without rejecting a similar ban on the use of FA-linked land in 1902, it did not stop the resurgence of women’s football during World War I and it is almost impossible to believe this over-appearance, which ended with 53,000 spectators at Goodison. was not a significant contributor to the new 1921 ban.
Gail Newsham, author of a book about Dick Kerr Ladies, believes the Boxing Day Record match, which followed a game that was watched by more than 35,000 people at Old Trafford and 25,000 in Deepdale.
“Goodison’s match would send an earthquake shock around the world of football, because so many people went to that match. We have to remember that in the 1920s they expanded the men’s leagues – there was a new Third Division, North and South – from so they have practically doubled the number of their clubs and all these people will be watching men’s football against women.It will come out in a controversial stage, right?
“Goodison’s match was a wake-up call. The FA then took steps to make it harder for the club to leave the field to the women’s teams. The teams and clubs were forced to issue statements after each game and could not play without the FA ‘s permission. “The whole of 1921 was blocked. Then, on December 5, they struck a deadly blow and banned their play.”
The players were angry. “When I spoke to Alice Norris [one of the Dick, Kerr players of the time] and some other women, they all said they thought the FA was just jealous because they were growing crowds, “Newsham says.” They were devastated. Everyone knows how much women worked during the war, all the hard work, handicrafts, everything that was done, therefore did not fit together. ”
Prohibition reports were mixed. On the one hand, ya Hull Daily Mail was pleased with the ban and praised the FA.
“It is very interesting that the Football Association has commented on the issue of women playing football. ‘FA’ is really the best meaning of the word a kind of Venetian oligarchy. “Soviet Pyramid” – again in the best sense of the word; and we boldly say that its great power and administration is exemplary and exemplary for all legislatures, except parliament. This Council is so wise that its decisions are universally respected, and its prestige is so high that disobedience never enters the minds of its partners and followers.
“It can bind and release, create or destroy, suppress or elevate, and it controls not only the game, the club, the authorities and the players, but the masses – and the masses are afraid of it. This August institution decided to ban women’s football. unwanted.A game ‘not possible for women’. It saddens its clubs that offer or sell their land. “It’s great for the women’s club and the people to have a mouthful! We never love women’s football.”
Others allowed players to have their say. Dick described Kerr Ladies captain Alice Kell in the press as “a stupid, smart working girl.”
“We girls play football with a real spirit. If we resist, we will not retaliate or listen to each other. We are all just amazed by the action of the authorities in banning the sport that we love with all our hearts and souls. Of course we have the right to play any game we see fit without the intervention of the Football Union! “We are all working girls who are dependent on our weekly wages and live with our parents and others are somewhat dependent on us.”
There were also dissenting votes in the FA Assembly meeting that would have chosen the ban. One came in the form of a statement read to the committee by Major Cecil Kent of Liverpool, former honorary secretary of Old Westminsters FC. Kent said she has participated in 30 women’s soccer matches and pointed out that the women’s game has donated hezar 100,000 to the charity in two years.
“From all sides I have heard nothing but praise for the good work that the girls are doing and the high standard of their play,” he said. “The only thing I hear from a man on the street right now is’ why did the FA put up with girls’ football? ‘ What have the girls done other than raise big money for charity and play games? Are their feet heavier in the wilderness than men’s feet? ”
When Dick, the Kerr Ladies played beyond the ban, as did others, such as Hays from Bradford and Huddersfield Atalanta, the impact of the ban was devastating as it killed the crowd at once. The team was forced into rugby or athletics friendly parks and clubs, but the stadium capacity offered by the men’s soccer clubs could not be compared. Without the mass of people regularly watching the games in places with large capacity, the interest naturally diminished.
“What drives me crazy is its inaccuracy,” says Newsham. Imagine for a second you were transposed into the karmic driven world of Earl. No one remembers, no matter what you did, no one cares and no one remembers. ‘ Think about that. You can not imagine how they would feel, would you? “But that’s what happened to them.”