The British Ladies' Football Club was an all-woman football team formed in the United Kingdom in 1885. The team had as its patron Lady Florence Dixie, an aristocrat from Dumfries, and its first captain was Nettie Honeyball (real name likely Mary Hutson).
Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played with a spherical ball between two teams of eleven players. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies, making it the world's most popular sport. The game is played on a rectangular field called a pitch with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by moving the ball beyond the goal line into the opposing goal.
Lady Florence Caroline Dixie, was a Scottish traveller, war correspondent, writer and feminist. Her account of travelling Across Patagonia, her children's books The Young Castaways and Aniwee, or, The Warrior Queen, and her feminist utopia Gloriana, or the Revolution of 1900 all deal with feminist themes related to girls, women, and their positions in society.
Dumfries is a market town and former royal burgh within the Dumfries and Galloway council area of Scotland. It is located near the mouth of the River Nith into the Solway Firth. Dumfries is the traditional county town of the historic county of Dumfriesshire. Dumfries is nicknamed Queen of the South. People from Dumfries are known colloquially in the Scots language as Doonhamers.The nickname has also given name to the town's professional football club.
The club's first public match took place at Crouch End, London on 23 March 1895, between teams representing 'The North' and 'The South'. The North won 7–1 in front of an estimated 11,000 spectators.
Crouch End is an area of North London, approximately 5 miles from the City of London in the western half of the borough of Haringey.
Until the 19th century, women's participation in football was limited to folk rituals linked with marriage customs. In Inverness, for example, single women would annually play a match with married women, whilst prospective husbands watched from the sidelines.The first record of a woman's team coming together to play football occurred on 9 May 1881, at Edinburgh's Easter Road Stadium. The match was billed as a Scotland v England international and featured Mrs Graham's XI.
Mrs Graham's XI was a women's football team formed by Helen Matthews in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1881. It is considered the first British women's football team and a pioneering team in the history of the sport. Because it was not safe for women to play football without harassment, the players used pseudonyms to protect their identities. Matthews, also a goalkeeper for the team, claimed to be "Mrs Graham".
Just over a week later, on 20 May 1881,the teams played in Glasgow in front of a crowd of 5,000. This match had to be abandoned following a violent pitch invasion during which the women were "roughly jostled", and chased by a mob as they left the grounds. Further games resulted in similar pitch invasions, which soon resulting in ending this early attempt to introduce women's football.
It is uncertain, from the coverage of the time, what the pitch invasions were in protest against. However, the press tone, which would dominate coverage of women's football for the next century, was clearly established in 1881: barely disguised contempt regarding player appearance, including costume, and the standard of play,overlaid with a certainty that football was a rough man's game unsuitable for women.
An attempt to form a new club was made by Alfred Hewitt Smithwith Nettie Honeyball as the figurehead for the British Ladies Football Club founded on 1 January 1895. Lady Florence Dixie, the youngest daughter of the Marquess of Queensbury, acted as chairman and sponsor. In 1894, an advertisement was placed in the Daily Graphic seeking those interested in forming a football club for women which attracted around 30 women, who trained twice weekly under the tutelage of Tottenham Hotspur wing-half Bill Julian.
Helen Graham Matthews, also known by her pseudonym Mrs Graham, was a Scottish suffragette and women's footballer. She is known for founding the Mrs Graham's XI, widely considered to be the first British women's football team.
Archibald William Douglas, 8th Marquess of Queensberry PC, styled Viscount Drumlanrig between 1837 and 1856, was a Scottish Conservative Party politician. He notably served as Comptroller of the Household between 1853 and 1856.
The Graphic was a British weekly illustrated newspaper, first published on 4 December 1869 by William Luson Thomas's company Illustrated Newspapers Limited.
The club divided into a north and south team and on 23 March 1895, 10,000 xvi and high-heeled boots, but acquired standard man's boots in suitable sizes. They still had to wear bonnets, with the game being stopped if any woman headed the ball and it dislodged either bonnet or hairpin which had to be replaced before the game could resume.spectators watched the inaugural game at Crouch End, London. Unlike in the matches of 1881, players no longer had to wear corsets :
The reaction was generally one of being heckled by the crowd, and press censure,bordering on derision.
Despite this, the club went on tour, sponsored by Lady Dixie,and in the following two years played some 100 exhibition matches. The tour attracted great publicity from the press, though not entirely restricted to the sport as, at the time, women playing football was intricately linked to the 'Rights question'.
The strain of playing so often took its toll, and by September 1896 the ladies could only field a few players. They were also broke, and arriving in Exeter found they had insufficient funds to either leave or pay their hotel bill. Appeals to the mayor of Exeter fell on deaf ears and he refused to pay. The ladies had to be rescued by friends, and the activities of the club came to an end.
Women's football once again fell into obscurity until the First World War, when Lloyd George required women to work in factories whilst the men were at the front. On Christmas Day, 1916, the first recorded match between factory organised women's teams, occurred in Ulverston, Cumbria.
In a year when the cultural, social and public concern over what was decent and what was unnatural were already focused, xvifootball for women raised important issues within Victorian society, including dress reform, the feminine ideal, women's sexuality, and the rigid British class structure in a way that no other sport could. :
Lady Dixie, a keen advocate of women's rights, 201believed that football was excellent for women's physiques, and predicted a day when it would be as popular with girls as with boys. Moreover, she was a supporter of the rational dress movement, which sought to liberate women from the corsets and petticoats of Victorian society. She, therefore, saw football as a weapon of subversion and a means of pushing the boundaries, since the members of the club played openly in knickers and blouses. :
Nettie Honeyball was well aware of the political ramifications, telling an interviewer that:
Australian rules football, officially known as Australian football, or simply called Aussie rules, football or footy, is a contact sport played between two teams of eighteen players on an oval-shaped field, often a modified cricket ground. Points are scored by kicking the oval-shaped ball between goal posts or between behind posts.
Women's association football, also commonly known as women's football or women's soccer, is the most prominent team sport played by women around the globe. It is played at the professional level in numerous countries throughout the world and 176 national teams participate internationally.
Dame Laura Jane Davies, is an English female professional golfer. She has achieved the status of her nation's most accomplished female golfer of modern times, being the first non-American to finish at the top of the LPGA money list as well as winning the Ladies European Tour (LET) Order of Merit a record seven times: in 1985, 1986, 1992, 1996, 1999, 2004 and 2006.
Dick, Kerr Ladies F.C. was one of the earliest known women's association football teams in England. The team remained in existence for over 48 years, from 1917 to 1965, playing 828 games, winning 758, drawing 46, and losing 24. During its early years, matches attracted anywhere from 4,000 to over 50,000 spectators per match. In 1920, Dick, Kerr Ladies defeated a French side 2–0 in front of 25,000 people that went down in history as the first international women's association football game. The team faced strong opposition by the Football Association (FA), who banned the women from using fields and stadiums controlled by FA-affiliated clubs for 50 years.
Women's football has been played in England for over a century, sharing a common history with the men's game as the country in which the Laws of the Game were codified.
The oldest football clubs trace their origins to the mid-19th century, a period when football evolved from being a casual pastime to an organised, mainstream sport.
Women's Australian rules football, also known simply as women's football or women's footy, is a form of Australian rules football played by women, generally with some modification to the laws of the game.
Sunderland Association Football Club Ladies, previously Sunderland Association Football Club Women, is an English women's football club that plays in the FA Women's National League North. They play their home games at the Eppleton Colliery Welfare Ground.
Lacrosse in England is an amateur sport played mainly by community based clubs and university teams. Lacrosse was introduced to England in 1876 by William George Beers and other Canadians who toured the country playing exhibition matches. A second tour was arranged in 1883; by then England had 60 clubs playing regular fixtures in Cambridgeshire, Cheshire, Lancashire, Middlesex and Yorkshire.
Eniola Aluko is an English footballer who plays as a forward for Serie A club Juventus.
Lilian "Lily" Parr was an English professional women's association football player who played as a winger. She is best known for playing for the Dick, Kerr's Ladies team, which was founded in 1917 and based in Preston, Lancashire.
Nettie Honeyball, also referred to as Nettie J. Honeyball, was the founder of the British Ladies' Football Club, the first known women's association football club, and one of their players until spring 1895. The name Nettie Honeyball was a pseudonym, and her real name is unknown. Some people believe that her real name was Mary Hutson. When Honeyball formed the BLFC, she was living in Crouch End, but it is not known whether she was from the area. There have been suggestions that she may have been from a middle class family in Pimlico.
Edna Neillis was a Scottish women's association football player, who represented the Scottish women's football team and played in the French and Italian championships.
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The English Ladies' Football Association (ELFA) was formed in 1921 and active until 1922. It was arguably a direct response to the Football Association (FA)’s ban on women’s football teams. The first meeting of the ELFA was held several weeks after the ban and Leonard Bridgett, the manager and coach of Stoke Ladies, was its first president. Bridgett helped to organise the first and only English Ladies Football Association Challenge Cup competition in the spring of 1922. 24 teams entered the competition and the winners were Stoke Ladies, who beat Doncaster and Bentley Ladies 3-1 on 24 June 1922.