Here are some interesting facts for you


They were the first women's team to play in an organised match wearing shorts.

Molly Walker was the first player to be transferred from another team to play for the Dick, Kerr Ladies in 1918.  Having impressed the manager in their two games with Lancaster Ladies, she made the move to Preston for the start of the new season. She scored the only goal on her debut for the team in a 1-0 victory over Barrow Ladies.

They were the first ladies team to play an international match against an overseas team.  In the spring of 1920, they entertained a team from Paris playing a series of matches in the North West of England and at Stamford Bridge, London.  The opening match of the tour was played at Deepdale, the home of Preston North End and was watched by a crowd of 25,000 spectators which was a record for the ground at that time. During the four games played they raised over £3000 for the National Association of Discharged and Disabled Soldiers and Sailors.

They became the first British women's club to embark on overseas football tour when they made a reciprocal tour to France in the autumn of 1920.  They travelled over 2000 miles playing matches in Paris, Roubaix, Le Havre and Rouen in front of over 62,000 spectators. They returned home unbeaten and received a rapturous welcome. The streets were lined with cheering crowds all along their victory route.

In 1920 the Dick, Kerr Ladies were the first women's team to play a match at night and use a white football.  They approached the War Office for the loan of two anti aircraft search lights to illuminate the pitch and  permission for their use was granted by Winston Churchill.  The game was played at Deepdale against a representative team made up of the best players from the rest of England. But even they couldn't dent the might of the Dick, Kerr Ladies who ran out 4-0 winners.

They can also boast the biggest crowd ever recorded for a women's club match. On Boxing Day 1920, 53,000 spectators packed into Goodison Park, Everton to see Dick, Kerr Ladies take on St Helens Ladies. There was a potential crowd of a possible 67,000 as there were  between 10,000-14,000 locked out unable to gain admission!  The team recorded a 4-0 victory and an amazing total of £3115 was raised for charity which in 2017 would be worth over £147,000!

In February 1921, Music hall comedian Harry Weldon invited the Dick, Kerr Ladies, and a representative team made up of the best players from the rest of Britain, to play for The Harry Weldon Cup in a match staged at Anfield. The rep team was made up of the best individual players from ladies teams throughout England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales.  One player even travelled from as far away as the island of Unst in the Shetland Isles.  25,000 spectators witnessed the demolition of the best of the rest as Dick, Kerr Ladies recorded an emphatic 9-1 victory.

Throughout 1921, they played and amazing total of sixty seven games of football for charity, all over the British Isles, while still working full time at the factory, and a staggering number of almost 900,000 people had come to watch them. But sadly, the Dick, Kerr Ladies were to become victims of their own success when on 5th December 1921, the FA banned ladies football and effectively changed the course of the women's game forever. A short lived Ladies Football Association was set up in an effort to keep their house in order, but many teams did fall by the wayside.  However, the Dick, Kerr Ladies were in the fortunate position of having their own pitch to play on due to the company having bought Ashton Park at the end of 1919.

Centre forward Florrie Redford, scored a phenomenal 170 goals in 1921. What price would be put on that kind of talent today?

In 1922 they crossed the Atlantic to the shores of Canada and the USA to take part in another soccer tour. However, upon their arrival in Canada they were refused permission to play there and told they would have to play against men's teams in the United States!  The girls were devastated and left with no option but to agree to play.  The tour lasted for nine weeks. They played nine games, won 3, drew 3 and lost 3.

They changed their name to Preston Ladies in 1926 after some 'trouble' at the factory, but would continue to be known as the world famous Dick, Kerr Ladies even to the present day.

The team played a 'Championship of the World' match in 1937. They were challenged to this title by Edinburgh Ladies, who regarded themselves the best team in Scotland. The Preston team accepted their challenge and ran out worthy winners by 5-1.  They celebrated their victory and the 20th anniversary of their formation, at a World Championship Victory Dinner where they were also presented with gold medals.

The team can boast having the all time leading goal scorer in women's football.  Lily Parr played for the Dick, Kerr Ladies from 1920-1951 and she scored around 1000 goals during her football career.  

The first female manager of a women's football team was Kath Latham. Kath had been helping Alfred Frankland with all the secretarial duties for several years as his health began to fail and after his death in 1957 she took on the enormous task of running the club. It was Kath who had to take the monumental decision to disband the team in 1965 due to a lack of players.

But the Dick, Kerr Ladies can be proud of  the fact that they have raised more money for charity than any other football team in the world.  The records state that they raised somewhere in the region of £180,000, which in 2017 has been estimated to be worth in excess of £10 million!

In 1992 the Dick, Kerr Ladies were reunited for the first time in almost forty years at an International Women's Soccer Tournament, The Lancashire Trophy, as part of the Preston Guild celebrations.

In 1996, at seventy four years of age, Joan Whalley, outside right for Dick, Kerr Ladies, became the first British female football player to feature in a national advertising campaign by sportswear giant Nike.

Dick, Kerr Ladies became 21st Century girls when they took part in an exhibition match at The Lancashire Trophy in 2000.  The oldest player on the field was Nancy Thomson at 84 years of age!

Lily Parr became the first female player to be inducted into the National Football Museum Hall of Fame in 2002.

On International Women's Day 2003, a celebration dinner honouring the Dick, Kerr Ladies, was held at the National Football Museum. It was a wonderful evening made all the more special with the arrival of all six daughters of Alice Mills who had crossed the Atlantic to visit Preston for the very first time to honour the memory of their mom.

The Dick, Kerr Ladies were VIP guests of the FA at the semi final of the Women's European Championships at Deepdale in 2005. 

Joan Whalley was posthumously inducted into National Football Museum Hall of Fame in 2007.

Dick, Kerr Ladies and Preston North End juniors were guests at The National Football Museum to celebrate the history of women's football in Preston on International Women's Day, 8 March 2008.

As part of the celebrations for the Dick, Kerr Ladies centenary year of 2017, the first Blue Plaque in the world for women's football was fixed on the factory wall where the team were originally formed. The first in the world for the best in the world.

The first National Women's Walking Football Tournament, the Dick, Kerr Ladies Cup, was staged at UCLan Sports Arena in July 2017.

In September 2017, the Dick, Kerr Ladies were given a special award at The FA Women's Football Awards held at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London.

To commemorate one hundred years since they played their first match at Preston North End on Christmas Day 1917, a magnificent memorial was unveiled at Deepdale on 22 December 2017. The first of it's kind in the world, women's football, and family members of former players, now have a place where they can come and reflect and be proud of the history of this incredible team.

You can read all about it in the Special Centenary Edition of my book, available on line at Waterstones for UK sales, Amazon for UK and USA, and the Book Depository for other than UK or USA.

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