This page gives you a short history of the team.
Imagine England beating France on French soil by 2-0 and the victorious players being carried shoulder high off the pitch by their adoring fans. Imagine a team having an incredible run of over 200 games without defeat. Imagine them playing in front of 53,000 spectators at Goodison Park, Everton. Imagine having a player who was second only to the legendary Brazilian footballer Pele in the goal scoring tables. And just imagine Sir Matt Busby commenting that one of the players was the best he had ever seen and if he could he would have signed them immediately for Manchester United! None of this is make believe .... It's all true!
Formed in 1917 at Dick, Kerr & Co Ltd, a munition works in Preston, Lancashire, these very ordinary factory girls were to take the country by storm at a time when the Suffragette movement was at its peak and the Victorian values of a woman's role in life were beginning to crumble.By 1921 the team's popularity was at its height, they were the team that everyone wanted to see and they had been booked to play an average of two games a week all over the British Isles. They played over 60 games of football that year while still working full time at the factory, and they were watched by almost 900,000 people throughout the country. But storm clouds were gathering and by the end of the year, women's football would be seen in a very different light. The FA claimed to have received complaints about the women and there were those within our national game who felt increasingly more threatened by the large number of spectators they were attracting. Some even thought that football really was a dangerous game for females and they wanted everyone to believe that it could seriously affect their fertility! With all this pressure bubbling under the surface, on 5 December 1921 the FA banned the girls from using league grounds and effectively changed the course of women's football forever. But inspite of the prejudice of the Football Association the Dick, Kerr Ladies went on to play over 800 games of football in this country and abroad and they raised over £180,000 for charity, but that figure today would be worth over £10 million!
The fighting spirit of the Dick, Kerr Ladies could not be diminished and they continued to play football against all the odds. Their tenacity and unbreakable resolve saw them cross the Atlantic in 1922 to play a series of matches in the USA. They continued playing throughout the 1920s-1930s, and claimed to be World Champions due to their impressive playing record. In 1937 they were challenged to this title by Edinburgh Ladies, the champions of Scotland. Amid a frenzy of press publicity the Championship of the World match took place in September of 1937 and the Dick, Kerr Ladies lived up to their claims, winning the match by 5-1.
Put on hold during World War 2, the team was reformed as soon as the hostilities were over. Training resumed and the first post war fixture took place at Glossop on Good Friday 1946. In the mid 1950's, their long serving manager, Alfred Frankland became ill and most of the secretarial duties were taken over by Kath Latham. Alfred Frankland died in 1957 and Kath took on the role permanetly and became the manager of Dick, Kerr Ladies. The team were regretably forced to disband in 1965 due to a lack of players, but in 1966 when England won the World Cup, football mania swept the country and there was no shortage of girls wanting to take up the game. But it was just too late for the Dick, Kerr Ladies, their era had gone. The Women's Football Association was formed in 1969 and the FA finally recognised women's football in 1971, 50 years after they had banned it, when the WFA was granted County status. The WFA administered all its own affairs until 1993 when it was disbanded and the FA took over responsibility for women's football.
The Dick, Kerr Ladies were reunited for the first time at The Lancashire Trophy in 1992 with players not having met up in almost 40 years. Once again the famous name of this pioneering club began to capture the imagination of the public and the years that followed would see them finally receive some of the recognition that was long overdue for them.
An immense debt of gratitude is owed to all those wonderful women who fought so courageously against all adversity, to play the game of football for its own sake.