Nettie Honeyball

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The British Ladies' Football Club North team from their first match; Nettie Honeyball is second from the left in the top row. British Ladies Football Club.jpg
The British Ladies' Football Club North team from their first match; Nettie Honeyball is second from the left in the top row.

Nettie Honeyball, also referred to as Nettie J. Honeyball, [1] 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. [2] [3] [4] [5] 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. [3] [4]

British Ladies Football Club

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.

Womens association football association football when played by women

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.

Crouch End area of north London

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.


In 1894, Honeyball began placing newspapers adverts for players for a women's football team. Thirty women responded, and so the British Ladies' Football Club (BLFC) was formed by Honeyball and Lady Florence Dixie in 1895, and was mainly composed of middle-class women. [6] [2] [5] Honeyball described football as "a manly game that could be womanly as well." [7] Due to Honeyball's PR campaign, the BLFC's first match in 1895 had an attendance of over 12,000 people. [8] Scottish suffragist Helen Matthews, known for forming Mrs Graham's XI, played for the BLFC in 1895. [3] Honeyball's last recorded appearance for the BLFC was on 13 May 1895. [1] [3]

Lady Florence Dixie British writer

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.

Helen Matthews politician and womens footballer

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.

Mrs Grahams 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".

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  1. 1 2 Brennan, Patrick. "Nettie Honeyball". Donmouth. Patrick Brennan. Retrieved 15 February 2012.
  2. 1 2 "The Honeyballers: Women who fought to play football". BBC News . 26 September 2013. Retrieved 13 May 2017.
  3. 1 2 3 4 Tate, Tim (August 2013). Girls with Balls - The Secret History of Women's Football. John Blake Publishing . Retrieved 13 May 2017.
  4. 1 2 Lee, James (September 2013). The Lady Footballers: Struggling to Play in Victorian Britain. Routledge. pp. 17–26. Retrieved 13 May 2017.
  5. 1 2 "From Honeyball to Houghton". FIFA . 24 October 2013. Retrieved 13 May 2017.
  6. Domeneghetti, Roger (April 2017). From The Back Page To The Front Room: Football's Journey Through The English Media. Ockley Books. Retrieved 13 May 2017.
  7. Mangan, J A (November 2013). Sport in Europe: Politics, Class, Gender. Routledge. p. 28. Retrieved 13 May 2017.
  8. Harris, Tim (November 2009). Players: 250 Men, Women and Animals Who Created Modern Sport. Random House . Retrieved 13 May 2017.