History Podcasts

Florrie Haslam

Florrie Haslam

Florrie Haslam was born in Bolton. The role of women changed dramatically during the First World War. As men left jobs to fight overseas, they were replaced by women. Women filled many jobs brought into existence by wartime needs. The greatest increase of women workers was in engineering. Over 700,000 women worked in the highly dangerous munitions industry.

The women working in factories began to play football during lunch-breaks. They formed into teams and played games against other factories. Florrie Haslam joined a team in Lancaster.

Alfred Frankland, who worked for a factory in Preston, formed the Dick Kerr Ladies team. Frankland was determined to create the best woman's team in England. Dick Kerr Ladies played against Bolton Ladies on Christmas Day, 1918. Frankland was impressed with the performance of Florrie Haslam and persuaded her to join his side.

Frankland arranged for Florrie to work in Preston. This worked out at about £100 in today's money.

Women's football games were extremely popular. For example, a game against Newcastle United Ladies played at St. James's Park, in September, 1919, attracted a crowd of 35,000 people and raised £1,200 (£250,000) for local war charities.

In 1920 Alfred Frankland arranged for the Federation des Societies Feminine Sportives de France to send a team to tour England. Frankland believed that his team was good enough to represent England against a French national team. Four matches were arranged to be played at Preston, Stockport, Manchester and London. The matches were played on behalf of the National Association of Discharged and Disabled Soldiers and Sailors.

A crowd of 25,000 people turned up to the home ground of Preston North End to see the first unofficial international between England and France. England won the game 2-0 with Florrie Redford and Jennie Harris scoring the goals.

The two teams travelled to Stockport by charabanc. This time England won 5-2. The third game was played at Hyde Road, Manchester. Over 12,000 spectators saw France obtain a 1-1 draw. Madame Milliat reported that the first three games had raised £2,766 for the ex-servicemens fund.

The final game took place at Stamford Bridge, the home of Chelsea Football Club. A crowd of 10,000 saw the French Ladies win 2-1. However, the English Ladies had the excuse of playing most of the game with only ten players as Jennie Harris suffered a bad injury soon after the game started. This game caused a stir in the media when the two captains, Alice Kell and Madeline Bracquemond, kissed each other at the end of the match.

On 28th October, 1920. Alfred Frankland took his team to tour France. On Sunday 31st October, 22,000 people watched the two sides draw 1-1 in Paris. However, the game ended five minutes early when a large section of the crowd invaded the pitch after disputing the decision by the French referee to award a corner-kick to the English side. After the game Alice Kell said the French ladies were much better playing on their home ground.

The next game was played in Roubaix. England won 2-0 in front of 16,000 spectators, a record attendance for the ground. Florrie Redford scored both the goals. England won the next game at Havre, 6-0. As with all the games, the visitors placed a wreath in memory of allied soldiers who had been killed during the First World War.

The final game was in Rouen. The English team won 2-0 in front of a crowd of 14,000. When the team arrived back in Preston on 9th November, 1920, they had travelled over 2,000 miles. As captain of the team, Alice Kell made a speech where she said: "If the matches with the French Ladies serve no other purpose, I feel that they will have done more to cement the good feeling between the two nations than anything which has occurred during the last 50 years."

Soon after arriving back in Preston, Alfred Frankland was informed that the local charity for Unemployed Ex- Servicemen was in great need for money to buy food for former soldiers for Christmas. Frankland decided to arrange a game at between Dick Kerr Ladies and a team made up of the rest of England. Deepdale, the home of Preston North End was the venue. To maximize the crowd, it was decided to make it a night game. Permission was granted by the Secretary of State for War, Winston Churchill, for two anti-aircraft searchlights, generation equipment and forty carbide flares, to be used to floodlight the game.

Over 12,000 people came to watch the match that took place on 16th December, 1920. It was also filmed by Pathe News. Bob Holmes, a member of the Preston team that won the first Football League title in 1888-89, had the responsibility of providing whitewashed balls at regular intervals. Although one of the searchlights went out briefly on two occasions, the players coped well with the conditions. Dick Kerr Ladies showed they were the best woman's team in England by winning 4-0. Jennie Harris scored twice in the first half and Florrie Redford and Minnie Lyons added further goals before the end of the game. A local newspaper described the ball control of Harris as "almost weird". He added "she controlled the ball like a veteran league forward, swerved, beat her opponents with the greatest of ease, and passed with judgment and discretion". As a result of this game, the Unemployed Ex Servicemens Distress Fund received over £600 to help the people of Preston. This was equivalent to £125,000 in today's money.

On 26th December, 1920, Dick Kerr Ladies played the second best women's team in England, St Helens Ladies, at Goodison Park, the home ground of Everton. The plan was to raise money for the Unemployed Ex Servicemens Distress Fund in Liverpool. Over 53,000 people watched the game with an estimated 14,000 disappointed fans locked outside. It was the largest crowd that had ever watched a woman's game in England.

Florrie Redford, Dick Kerr Ladies' star striker, missed her train to Liverpool and was unavailable for selection. In the first half, Jennie Harris gave Dick Keer Ladies a 1-0 lead. However, the team was missing Redford and so the captain and right back, Alice Kell, decided to play centre forward. It was a shrewd move and Kell scored a second-half hat trick which enabled her side to beat St Helens Ladies 4-0.

The game at Goodison Park raised £3,115 (£623,000 in today's money). Two weeks later the Dick Kerr Ladies played a game at Old Trafford, the home of Manchester United, in order to raise money for ex-servicemen in Manchester. Over 35,000 people watched the game and £1,962 (£392,000) was raised for charity.

In 1921 the Dick Kerr Ladies team was in such demand that Alfred Frankland had to refuse 120 invitations from all over Britain. The still played 67 games that year in front of 900,000 people. It has to be remembered that all the players had full-time jobs and the games had to be played on Saturday or weekday evenings. As Alice Norris pointed out: "It was sometimes hard work when we played a match during the week because we would have to work in the morning, travel to play the match, then travel home again and be up early for work the next day."

On 14th February, 1921, 25,000 people watched Dick Kerr Ladies beat the Best of Britain, 9-1. Lily Parr (5), Florrie Redford (2) and Jennie Harris (2) got the goals. Representing their country, the Preston team beat the French national side 5-1 in front of 15,000 people at Longton. Parr scored all five goals.

The Dick Kerr Ladies did not only raise money for Unemployed Ex Servicemens Distress Fund. They also helped local workers who were in financial difficulty. The mining industry in particular suffered a major recession after the war. In March, 1921, the mine-owners announced a further 50% reduction in miner's wages. When the miners refused to accept this pay-cut, they were locked out from their jobs. On April 1 and, immediately on the heels of this provocation, the government put into force its Emergency Powers Act, drafting soldiers into the coalfield.

The government and the mine-owners attempted to starve the miners into submission. Several members of the Dick Kerr team came from mining areas like St. Helens and held strong opinions on this issue and games were played to raise money for the families of those men locked out of employment. As Barbara Jacobs pointed out in The Dick, Kerr's Ladies: "Women's football had come to be associated with charity, and had its own credibility. Now it was used as a tool to help the Labour Movement and the trade unions. It had, it could be said, become a politically dangerous sport, to those who felt the trade unions to be their enemies.... Women went out to support their menfolk, a Lancashire tradition, was causing ripples in a society which wanted women to revert to their prewar roles as set down by their masters, of keeping their place, that place being in the home and kitchen. Lancashire lasses were upsetting the social order. It wasn't acceptable."

The 1921 Miners Lock-Out caused considerable suffering in mining areas in Wales and Scotland. This was reflected by games played in Cardiff (18,000), Swansea (25,000) and Kilmarnock (15,000). Dick Kerr Ladies represented England beat Wales on two successive Saturdays. They also beat Scotland on 16th April, 1921.

The Football Association was appalled by what they considered to be women's involvement in national politics. It now began a propaganda campaign against women's football. A new rule was introduced that stated no football club in the FA should allow their ground to be used for women's football unless it was prepared to handle all the cash transactions and do the full accounting. This was an attempt to smear Alfred Frankland with financial irregularities.

On 5th December 1921, the Football Association issued the following statement:

Complaints having been made as to football being played by women, the Council feel impelled to express their strong opinion that the game of football is quite unsuitable for females and ought not to be encouraged.

Complaints have been made as to the conditions under which some of these matches have been arranged and played, and the appropriation of the receipts to other than Charitable objects.

The Council are further of the opinion that an excessive proportion of the receipts are absorbed in expenses and an inadequate percentage devoted to Charitable objects.

For these reasons the Council requests the clubs belonging to the Association refuse the use of their grounds for such matches.

This measure removed the ability of women to raise significant sums of money for charity as they were now barred from playing at all the major venues. The Football Association also announced that members were not allowed to referee or act as linesman at any women's football match.

The Dick Kerr Ladies team were shocked by this decision. Alice Kell, the captain, spoke for the other women when she said: "We play for the love of the game and we are determined to carry on. It is impossible for the working girls to afford to leave work to play matches all over the country and be the losers. I see no reason why we should not be recompensated for loss of time at work. No one ever receives more than 10 shillings per day."

Alice Norris pointed out that the women were determined to resist attempts to stop them playing football: "We just took it all in our stride but it was a terrible shock when the FA stopped us from playing on their grounds. We were all very upset but we ignored them when they said that football wasn't a suitable game for ladies to play."

As Gail J. Newsham argued In a League of their Own: "So, that was that, the axe had fallen, and despite all the ladies denials and assurances regarding finances, and their willingness to play under any conditions that the FA laid down, the decision was irreversible. The chauvinists, the medical 'experts' and the anti women's football lobby had won - their threatened male bastion was now safe."

Alfred Frankland responded to the action taken by the Football Association with the claim: "The team will continue to play, if the organisers of charity matches will provide grounds, even if we have to play on ploughed fields."

Frankland now decided to take his team on a tour of Canada and the United States. The team included Florrie Haslam, Jennie Harris, Daisy Clayton, Alice Kell, Florrie Redford, Alice Woods, Jessie Walmsley, Lily Parr, Molly Walker, Carmen Pomies, Lily Lee, Alice Mills, Annie Crozier, May Graham, Lily Stanley and R. J. Garrier. Their regular goalkeeper, Peggy Mason, was unable to go due to the recent death of her mother.

When the Dick Kerr Ladies arrived in Quebec on 22nd December, 1922, they discovered that the Dominion Football Association had banned them from playing against Canadian teams. They were accepted in the United States, and even though they were sometimes forced to play against men, they lost only 3 out of 9 games. They visited Boston, Baltimore, St. Louis, Washington, Detroit, Chicago and Philadelphia during their tour of America.

Florrie Redford was the leading scorer on the tour but Lily Parr was considered the star player and American newspapers reported that she was the "most brilliant female player in the world". One member of the team, Alice Mills, met her future husband at one of the games, and would later return to marry him and become an American citizen.

In Philadelphia four members of the team, Florrie Haslam, Jennie Harris, Lily Parr, and Molly Walker, met the American Women's Olympic team in a relay race of about a quarter of a mile. Even though their fastest runner, Alice Woods, was unavailable through illness, the Preston ladies still won the race.

Dick Kerr Ladies continued to play charity games in England but denied access by the Football Association to the large venues, the money raised was disappointing when compared to the years immediately following the First World War. In 1923 the French Ladies came over for their annual tour of England. They played against Dick Kerr Ladies at Cardiff Arms Park. Part of the proceeds were for the Rheims Cathedral Fund in France.

Dick, Kerr Engineering was eventually taken over by English Electric. Although they allowed the team to play on Ashton Park, it refused to subsidize the football team. Alfred Frankland was also told that he would no longer be given time off to run the team that was now known as the Preston Ladies.

Frankland decided to leave English Electric and open a shop with his wife in Sharoe Green Lane in Preston where they sold fish and greengroceries. He continued to manage Preston Ladies with great success.

It is not known when Florrie Haslam stopped playing football.

I am indebted to the research carried out by Barbara Jacobs (The Dick, Kerr's Ladies) and Gail Newsham (In a League of their Own) for the information in this article.

There are 8 census records available for the last name Haslam Jun. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Haslam Jun census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

There are 3 immigration records available for the last name Haslam Jun. Passenger lists are your ticket to knowing when your ancestors arrived in the USA, and how they made the journey - from the ship name to ports of arrival and departure.

There are 2 military records available for the last name Haslam Jun. For the veterans among your Haslam Jun ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

There are 8 census records available for the last name Haslam Jun. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Haslam Jun census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

There are 3 immigration records available for the last name Haslam Jun. Passenger lists are your ticket to knowing when your ancestors arrived in the USA, and how they made the journey - from the ship name to ports of arrival and departure.

There are 2 military records available for the last name Haslam Jun. For the veterans among your Haslam Jun ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

Haslam, Gerald M.

Gerald M. Haslam (born 1949) is a history professor at Brigham Young University.

Gerald M. Haslam was born August 7, 1949 at Logan, Utah. He grew up in South Salt Lake, Utah, and served a full time proselyting mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Norway from 1968-1970. He obtained his Bachelor of Arts in Print Journalism from the University of Utah in 1972, his Master of Arts in History from the University of Utah in 1974. He obtained his Ph.D. in History from Brigham Young University in 1981. Haslam is an associate professor of history, having been employed at BYU for thirty years. For the first ten years of his employment, he worked as a genealogical researcher for Family History Services (now defunct) which provided research for hire to clients wanting to trace their roots. Since 1991 he has taught full time at Brigham Young University. He specializes in Scandinavian History from the Vikings to the Welfare State Scandinavian Family History Sources (Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Finland) and Professional Family History Research for Clients. He has also taught classes on Irish Family History Scottish Family History English Family History Germanic Family History and Northeastern States Family History. He has published a variety of articles on family and Scandinavian history, and two books, Clash of Cultures: The Norwegian Experience with Mormonism, 1851-1920 (Berne, Switzerland, and New York, New York: Peter Lang, 1984) and NFS Grundtvig's Faedrenearv (NFS Grundtvig's Patriarchal Inheritance) (Aarhus, Denmark: Grundtvig Society of 1947, 1998). The last-mentioned book treats the intellectual development of the Danish theologian, Grundtvig, under his father who was a Lutheran Priest in the late 1700s and early 1800s in Udby about seventy miles south of Copenhagen.

He is married to Zulaima S. Haslam, a native of Venezuela. By a first marriage he has six children -- three boys and three girls. He is an avid book collector of local and family histories (about 7,000 volumes), most of which has been bought in secondhand bookshops all over the US and in Europe. He enjoys Classical music, especially pieces by Edvard Grieg, the Norwegian composer. He speaks Norwegian and German and reads Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, German and Dutch. In 2000, he directed BYU London Study Abroad, serving about a hundred students. He has traveled widely, visiting seventeen different countries, most recently (December 2011) the Philippines and Malaysia and in April 2012, traveled to his favorite city in all the world, London, England, for the thirty-third time.

Florrie Haslam - History

Northern Lights


Renaissance is a British folk/rock band fronted by the charismatic Annie Haslam. This band was formed from the ashes of British R&B band The Yardbirds, undergoing several personal changes until they arrived at their most stable lineup, which released this song.

Despite plenty of positive press from music critics, Renaissance wasn't able to expand their audience, and they dissolved in the early '80s. "Northern Lights" was their only song to crack any chart, as it was neatly packaged for a Pop audience, running just 3:29. Fans of the band prefer "Song Of Scheherazade," their 1975 suite that runs more than 24 minutes.

Many people wrongly assumed that this song had something to do with the Aurora Borealis, but that's not the case. Annie Haslam told Songfacts: "The song is about leaving the Northern Lights of England. and Roy Wood behind, when I was working over in the US. Hence the lines:

You know it's hard away from you
Traveling roads and passing through
It's not for money and it's not for fame
I just can't explain
Sometimes it's lonely

Wood, who was a member of Electric Light Orchestra, was engaged to Haslam for a time.

Carmen Pomies: The Most Important Woman Footballer in HistoryPart 1/3

Carmen Chantelle Marianne Pomies… 5 feet 8 inches of elegant muscle was an incredibly talented French woman. She was a superstar footballer in the golden days between World War 1 and World War 2. In my opinion there were three truly great teams in that era: Dick Kerr Ladies of Preston, Femina Sport of Paris and Rutherglen of Scotland. Incredibly, Carmen was a star in two of those teams. Feted and honoured in her beloved Preston and England I will be providing evidence of her crucial role in the history of women’s football. I will also pay tribute to someone whom I personally believe to be France’s greatest woman footballer: Madeleine “Mado” Bracquemond. It will not be possible in three short articles to do justice to the amazing lives of both women. My good friend Chris Rowe will shortly be publishing a book on Carmen’s life with the publisher Pen and Sword. Chris’ book is packed with fascinating contextual historical insights and has detailed research into the amazing Pomies family and their influential circle of friends. In my article I will be sharing some of the images from my collection of rare French Sports magazines and some unique images from the Lizzy Ashcroft Collection. In my three articles I hope to share some of the incredible story around the development of women’s football after the English FA ban of 1921 and Carmen’s central role. This story has not previously been told. In Part 1 I will develop the story of Carmen’s role in the 1920s and her leadership of the 1925 ‘Gallery of Champions’ tour which took place in the middle of the ‘wilderness years’. In Part 2 I will explore in detail the uniqueness and glamour of the 1925 tour. I will give a detailed analysis of this tour and the challenges faced by the women to play the game they loved four years after the English FA ban. Finally in Part 3 I will explain why there was a ‘renaissance’ of women’s football on these shores and that playing a key role in the renaissance was the incomparable Carmen. This is when she developed a close friendship with my granny Lizzy Ashcroft and from where our family’s unrivalled collection of photographs originate.

Preston Honours Carmen

The DKL Deepdale Monument, Preston, Lancashire
Source: Author’s Collection

“They Shone Like Diamonds”

Situated at the mouth of the River Ribble, Preston is a post-industrial Lancashire town in the North West of England. Once rich and prosperous from the cotton industry it is beginning to prosper once again with its University and beautiful municipal buildings and parks. Preston was and always will be a ‘football’ town. Situated close to the town centre is Deepdale Stadium, the home of Preston Football. Facing across the car park from the stadium towards Moor Park is the 4 metre high granite monument to the ‘Dream’ Team. This is the 1921 Dick Kerr Ladies squad of invincibles who conquered America in 1922. Lily Parr is holding the ball. Holding onto Lily is the formidable Jessie Walmsley. Holding onto Jessie is Frenchwoman Carmen Pomies gazing out over her beloved Preston. In 1932 she was to play a key role on Moor Park in front of 10,000 Prestonians in a landmark 1930s game together with Lily Parr and granny Lizzy Ashcroft. Holding onto Carmen is the talented sprinter Alice Woods, followed by Florrie Haslam. Holding on to Florrie Haslam is another Florrie – the incomparable goal scoring machine Florrie Redford. Holding onto Florrie with her locks of hair attempting to break free is the legendary Dick Kerr Ladies Captain Alice Kell. Articulate and intelligent Alice was a respected Captain in the ‘Beckenbauer’ mould. Holding on to Alice is Daisy Clayton and then the team character – ‘the little box of tricks’ Jenny Harris – Lancaster’s star player who was imported into the Dick Kerr Ladies because she was so good. Emily Grice is the goalkeeper.

Carmen was a proud Frenchwoman who lustily sang the ‘Marseillaise’ and fought the gestapo with ‘all her heart’ during World War 2. How did the woman from privileged Montmartre of the ‘Belle Epoque’ end up being honoured with a bunch of working class girls from Northern Lancashire in such a way. It is an amazing story…

‘Acceptable’ Sports for Women…

July 1920 Mary Pickford meets Suzanne Lenglen
Source: Lizzy Ashcroft Collection

Hockey, Tennis, Golf, Rowing, Skating, Walking – but NOT the ‘male’ sport of Football…

In the 1920s Mary Pickford “America’s Sweetheart” was a global superstar and celebrity. She was known as the “Queen of the Movies”. Suzanne Lenglen was not ‘just’ a tennis player. She was referred to in the press as ‘La Divine’ (‘The Goddess’). Her reputation even today is formidable with the second court at Roland Garros named in her honour. She was ranked as the inaugural world number 1 at tennis from 1921 to 1926. Suzanne had a balletic playing style and this together with her exuberant personality helped make her a national heroine in a country coping with the aftermath of World War 1. She revolutionised the sport by integrating the aggressive style of men’s tennis into the women’s game, breaking the convention of women competing in clothing unsuitable for tennis, and incorporating fashion into her matches. Suzanne Lenglen was not the only French woman revolutionising attitudes to women in sport in this era. Women had begun to break boundaries with the inclusion of women’s tennis and golf in the 1900 Olympics. In France a key event in 1912 was to have far reaching consequences to which the women and men of today owe a great deal…

1912: Femina Sport, Paris, France

Femina Sport – French Interpretation of Ancient Hellenic Exercise and Rhythmic Movement
Source: Lizzy Ashcroft Collection

The Most Important Female Sporting Organisation in History

On 27 July 1912 Germaine Delapierre, Suzanne Liébrard and sisters Jeanne Brulé and Thérèse Brulé helped form Femina Sport. By 1925 there were reputed to be over 1,000 paid up female members and other similar organisations such as Academia, En Avant, Les Hirondelles and Les Sportives were thriving. Femina Sport even had its own stadium: Stade Elisabeth. Stade Elisabeth is located in the South of Paris near to the Porte D’Orleans and is still in existence today. In 1925 as well as a large covered stand the stadium had a shooting range, a gymnasium and a canteen. Jeanne Brule was an athlete who went on to become President of Femina Sport and General Secretary of the FSFSF (Fédération des Sociétés Féminines Sportives de France). She was awarded the Légion D’Honneur in recognition of her role in promoting women’s sport. However of particular interest in this story is her sister Thérèse who had a pivotal role in the development of women’s football.

The image above is not unusual. There was a ‘craze’ for dressing in very specific, ancient Greek style robes and attempting graceful, rhythmic movement. This exercise took place at women’s sports gatherings alongside traditional track + field athletics and in later years ‘basketball’ (a form of netball), football and barette (developed from rugby). Large numbers of women dressed in robes performing rhythmic exercise/ movement is an image seen in numerous photographs and newspaper and magazine articles of the time. Although this ‘craze’ appears to have started in Paris it spread around the country and I have a very similar image from 1927 which was taken just outside Lyon.

Paris: A Cultural Melting Pot

1930 Raymond Duncan making salt from the Hudson River
Source: BNA The Graphic Saturday 14 June 1930

A Hellenic Ideal

Raymond Duncan was the brother of dancer Isadora Duncan. He and his Greek wife Penelope developed an all encompassing philosophy of life which was based on their interpretation of an ancient Hellenic ideal. If you were to visit their original home in Greece then you had to change into robes and sandals to enter the house. By 1911 they were announcing their intention to set up a school of music, practical philosophy, ceramic art, weaving and a school of movement in Paris. As can be seen from the picture above Raymond was quite a celebrity with an eye for publicity.

1913 Ancient Grecian Dancing Revived in a French Forest

Village of Montfermeil, North of Paris
Source: BNA The Sphere Saturday 4 October 1913

Influenced by Images on Greek Friezes and Vases

Raymond Duncan was a very noticeable figure wandering around the streets of Paris prior to World War 1 dressed in Greek robes and sandals espousing a simpler way of life. His message of purity of body and mind would not be out of place today. In the heady mix of fin de siecle Paris his contribution to the melange of culture, ideas and exercise is remarkable. The actual movements were based upon studying the pictures on ancient friezes and vases and interpreting these into graceful movements. Hence we see the more traditional women’s sports, the traditional men’s sports and ‘gymnastique suédoise’ i.e. Hellenic-style rhythmic movement in robes developing together. ‘Gymnastique suédoise’ translates to english as ‘callisthenics’ but in this context is probably more akin to the Hellenic movement described above as it is to the modern idea of callisthenics.

This evidence generates the question around why these ultra-feminine exercises were developed. Were they simply popular or were they a way of off-setting criticism for participating in ‘masculine’ sports? This is, I think, an area for further academic research.

Thérèse Brulé: La Galerie des Champions

Thérèse Brulé featured in Tres Sport
Source: Lizzy Ashcroft Collection

1917: First Women’s Football Match in France

History was made at Stade Elisabeth, Paris on Sunday 30th September 1917. Twenty two women formed themselves into two teams of eleven and played the first women’s football match on French soil. The rather brief match reports simply record that the Thérèse Brulé XI (incl sister Jeanne) defeated the Suzanne Liébrard XI (incl Germaine Delapierre) by 2 goals to 0. By this point in 1917 both Suzanne and Thérèse were multi-talented athletes. Suzanne gave up football shortly after this but Thérèse continued with her football and featured in a number of important internationals. French women’s football took off from this first game and soon they felt able to challenge their famous counterparts across the Channel in Preston.

Madeleine ‘Mado’ Bracquemond: La Galerie des Champions

Mado featured in Tres Sport
Source: Lizzy Ashcroft Collection

1920: Carmen and Mado Tour Angleterre

The first ever foreign tour by a French women’s football team took place in 1920. The redoutable Alice Milliat organised the tour on behalf of the FSFSF (Fédération des Sociétés Féminines Sportives de France). The four game tour was played against the Dick Kerr Ladies with the following results:

Fri 30 April 2-1 win for DKL at Preston North End’s ground Deepdale – Crowd 22,000

Sat 1 May 5-2 win for DKL at Stockport – Crowd 15,000

Wed 5 May 1-1 draw at Hyde, Manchester – Crowd 3,000

Fri 6 May 2-1 win for France at Chelsea’s ground Stamford Bridge – Crowd 10,000

It was joy untold for the French team when they completed their tour with a win…

Carmen Pomies: La Galerie des Champions

Carmen featured in Tres Sport
Source: Lizzy Ashcroft Collection

Blackpool – Je t’aime…

The French team was made up from a mixture of Femina and En Avant with one player from Les Sportives. Carmen is listed as full-back. Mado was the Captain of En Avant and assumed the Captaincy for the tour. Also in the team were Femina Sport founding members Germaine Delapierre, Jeanne and Thérèse Brulé.

As well as the usual receptions and tours where the games were hosted both teams were afforded a Civic Reception at Blackpool on Monday 3rd May. The teams were conveyed in two motor charabancs from the Bull and Royal Hotel in Preston. The charabancs were decorated with tricolours. They were entertained by the Mayor Councillor Eli Howe and a representative of the Ex-Soldier’s National Federation. After refreshments they were given a tour of the town which included visiting North Pier, the Tower, the King’s Convalescent Centre and the Winter Gardens where they had tea. This is probably where Carmen developed her love of Blackpool. When the French team arrived back at Gare du Nord in Paris a huge crowd greeted them with bouquets of flowers and Mado was carried through the station.

1920: Dick Kerr Ladies Tour France

Le Miroir des Sports – Stade Pershing
Source: Lizzy Ashcroft Collection

1920: Carmen and Mado on Home Soil

Incredibly the Dick Kerr Ladies only toured on French soil twice. The second time was 15 years later in 1935 when my granny Lizzy Ashcroft led the tour. This 1920 four match tour was led by the legendary Alice Kell and included a raw, talented 15 year old full-back who had been recruited from St Helens – Lily Parr

Sun 31 Oct 1-1 draw at Stade Pershing, Paris – Crowd 22,000

Mon 1 Nov 2-0 loss to DKL at Parc Jean Dubrulle, Roubaix – Crowd 10,000

Sat 6 Nov 6-0 loss to DKL at Stade Cavee Verte – Crowd 6,000

Sun 7 Nov 2-0 loss to DKL at Stade Lilas, Rouen – Crowd 14,000

Mado was again the Captain. Carmen had now moved to right half.

Isle of Man: The Girl from Parr Meets the Girl from Paris

Isle of Man – Dick Kerr Ladies v St Helens
Source: IOM Newspaper Archive Ramsey Courier Friday 5 August

Carmen Pomies Debut for Dick Kerr Ladies

During August the superstars of the Dick Kerr Ladies took the young girls of St Helens AFC on a three game tour of the Isle of Man. My 16 year old granny Lizzy Ashcroft had only made her debut 4 months earlier for St Helens so I wonder how she must have felt to be on tour with the Dick Kerr football legends Alice Kell, Florrie Redford, Jenny Harris and Carmen Pomies. The plucky St Helens team lost all three matches but detailed match reports singled out Lizzy, Lydia Ackers and Susie Chorley for praise. It is no surprise then that 2 years later these three St Helens players went to have lengthy careers with the Dick Kerr Ladies.

On Carmen’s debut the Dick Kerr Ladies won by 5 v 3 in front of a reported crowd of 5,000 at the Lezayre Road Ground in Ramsey with a Florrie Redford hat-trick. The Isle of Man Examiner reported: “… superb half back play by Miss Woods (centre half) and Mademoiselle Carmen Pomies of Dick Kerrs and Miss Fairclough of St Helens.” Carmen had joined the ‘dream team’…

1921 August: Carmen Joins the ‘Dream Team’

Wearing English Colours – White Jerseys and Blue Shorts – Undefeated British Champions, 1920-1921
Played 59 Won 58 Drawn 1 Scored 393 Goals to 16 Against
Holders of Seven Silver Cups and Two Sets of Gold Medals
Club Colours-Black and White Jerseys, Blue Shorts
Lily Parr, Jessie Walmsley, Carmen Pomies, Alice Woods, Florrie Haslam
Florrie Redford, Alice Kell, Daisy Clayton, Jenny Harris, Emily Grice
Source: Lizzy Ashcroft Collection

Carmen Pomies: Dick Kerr Lady

In my opinion this is the greatest women’s football team in its greatest incarnation. Carmen is the third from the front on this ‘British Champions’ postcard which was used for the Deepdale Monument. The above is a copy of my signed postcard. Each of the team has signed in beautiful calligraphic script and described their position.

Carmen has signed herself Carmen Pomies Right Half. I would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank the ‘Red Rose Postcard Club’ for kindly letting me acquire this treasure. This postcard is now in the safe hands of the English National Football Museum in Manchester. This item will be going on display when the fabulous Lily Parr Gallery opens this year at the museum and is of course signed by Lily Parr herself…

Three Seasons of International Tours Involving English Clubs

Key International Tours Involving English Clubs
Source: Author

Internationals Continue for Carmen and Mado

In May of the 1920-1921 season a largely Femina Sport based side toured. The Captain was still Madeleine Bracquemond and Carmen was still playing at right half. This tour was more successful winning all but their first game which they lost 5 – 1 to the Dick Kerr Ladies. The young left back Lily Parr had by now confidently moved to left wing and she scored all 5 goals.

In the 1922-1923 season there were two significant tours. In September/ October 1922 the Dick Kerr Ladies made their famous tour of America. In April of 1923 Heys Brewery Bradford played the French team in Stade Pershing and won a closely contested game by 1 goal to 0. The effects of the English FA Ban were beginning to be felt. In September of 1923 the Stoke Ladies played two games against Les Sportives in Barcelona.

1922: Goalkeeper Carmen Conquers America

1921/22 Casket Cigarette Card
Standing: Daisy Clayton, Carmen Pomies, Alice Woods, Emily Grice, Alice Kell, Jessie Walmsley
Seated: Florrie Haslam, Jenny Harris, Florrie Redford, Alice Mills, Lily Parr
Source: Lizzy Ashcroft Collection

Dick Kerr Ladies Tour to America

The tour is covered in detail in Gail Newsham’s book: “In a League of Their Own”. This tour was absolutely unique and unprecedented. There are three main points that I would like to make for the purposes of this article. The first point is the coverage in the American newspapers. The culture in this country for ‘mixed’ (not DKL!) games of football was for the men to not try properly and sportingly let the ‘girls’ win. This was not the case in the US and the American newspaper articles make interesting reading as very little if any allowance is made for gender difference. The second point is this. In this incarnation of the Dick Kerr Ladies the goalkeeper often had very little to do because of the relative strength of the DKL to the opposition. This was not the case in America where Carmen performed a magnificent and very active role for her team in an unfamiliar position. The third point is that the Olympique de Paris tour and the two month American tour delayed the effects of the ban on the Dick Kerr Ladies. Carmen went back to France with Florrie Redford shortly after this tour and assumed the Captaincy of the legendary Femina Sport Football Team.

The Long Golden Age of French Football

1923 Le Petit Journal – Femina Sport v Cadettes de Gascogne
Source: Lizzy Ashcroft Collection

Carmen & Mado & Violette…

It is not possible to do justice to the long golden age of French Football. Its highs, lows, controversies all make for a fascinating story. Carmen and Mado continued with their footballing exploits. Mado joined Femina Sport where Carmen had now assumed the Captaincy. Both of them continued with their other athletic exploits and won fame at international events. Another character who is worth a mention is Violette Gourard-Morris. Violette is easily the most controversial woman footballer in history. An extremely powerful woman, she became a hero in World War 1 for her driving skills and after World War 2 she was executed by the Maquis as one of the most reviled women in France. In between this she Captained Olympique de Paris and toured England in March 1922. She caused no end of trouble in French women’s football which wasn’t without its other scandals. Recent books have examined the evidence around her life in a less sensationalist manner and debunked some of the more extreme myths about her life. The expert on the French scene is Helge Faller and I highly recommend his website and books. Whilst women’s football in France flourished with tours to other countries, football on these islands was beginning to enter the ‘wilderness’ years thanks to the 5 December 1921 English FA Ban…

1921: English FA Ban

Frederick Joseph Wall – Secretary of Football Association, Russell Square Office, London
Source: BNA Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News Saturday 6 April 1912

The Sword of Damocles Falls

It is not possible here to analyse in depth the many and complex reasons why I think that a ban happened or that it was inevitable. However, what is known is that at 3pm on Monday 5 December 1921 after a letter from ‘Major Cecil Kent’ had been read out in a rather short meeting at Russell Square the secretary Frederick Wall (later Sir Frederick) issued the infamous ban. The unfortunate phraseology of ‘women’s football is to be discouraged’ caused untold damage to the role of women in football and possibly other sports. It is worth looking at what kind of entity the English FA was at the time. In 1895 Frederick Wall took over as Secretary of the FA from Charles William Alcock who had held the position from 1870. Alcock’s family had a marine insurance business in the City of London. Wall held this position until 1934. Wall was a metropolitan lawyer. He entered football legislation in 1881 as a member of the London FA and he represented Middlesex on the Football Association Council from 1891 to 1895. He eventually became a director of Arsenal. In his 1935 auto-biography Sir Frederick actually mentions women’s football. He references the 1895 Crouch End game:

I was asked to referee the first women’s football match at Crouch End. I declined, but I went to see the match and came to the conclusion that the game was not suitable for them. Someone declared that one of the players was a ‘Tommy’ made up as a woman. The Football Association have discouraged this invasion of the ‘eternal feminine,’ just as they have discountenanced Sunday Football. Source: 50 Years of Football 1884 – 1934 Sir Frederick Wall

It is very interesting to notice that the man who signed off the ban on women’s football is referencing a game from 26 years earlier when the women were playing in long dresses, heavy work boots and what look remarkably like cricket pads… I think it would be safe to assume that his mind was made up prior to the meeting that no form of women’s football was to be acceptable on ‘male’ football pitches. There was a very noticeable metropolitan bias in the hierarchy of football. This is also very interesting to note when the many newspaper reports about the ban are analysed. The effect on women’s football was devastating. However despite numerous incorrect books and articles a great deal of women’s football did take place especially in the 1930s.

Cecil Kent is a very interesting figure. He is the one man of influence whose letter is actually read out at the ban meeting. He also organised the 1925 ‘Gallery of Champions Tour’. So who was Cecil Kent?

Cecil Kent of Westminster School

Cecil Kent – Author
Source: Lizzy Ashcroft Collection

Cecil Kent: Key Supporter of Women’s Football

Cecil Kent was born in 1883 in St Johns Wood, London. His father Charles was the Principal Secretary of Trinity House and his Uncle was Fleet Paymaster George Kent RN. His sister was Miss Irene Helen Kent who was second in command of Portsmouth WRNS. She was also founder and commander of “C” Company, Group 41 of the ATS. The young Cecil Kent attended Westminster School. Unfortunately his father lost his life by falling from the roof of Trinity House in 1902. Cecil attended Trinity College Cambridge where he joined the rowing club. A number of sporting reports with his name appear from 1908 to 1914 in Sporting Life and similar papers. This is either in Rowing, Football or Cricket for ‘Old Westminsters’. In 1909 he is credited with a large part in the formation of ‘Old Westminsters Boat Club’. He is also credited with opening the “400” club which was a forerunner to the ‘Embassy Club” on Bond Street. During WW1 he is recorded as being ‘Lieutenant Commander Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve’. He next appears in 1921 organising and supporting women’s football in Liverpool where he is described as Major Cecil Kent of Liverpool. In 1925 strong evidence indicates that he organised the ‘Gallery of Champions’ tour. By 1934 he appears to have retired back to Southsea to live with his sister where he authored a book on cricket called: “The Story of the Tests in England 1880 – 1934”. Research is still ongoing as to his entitlement to the honorific Major. He passed away quietly after a long illness during WW2 and was buried in the family plot in Hampstead.

Cecil Kent: Women’s Football Organiser

1921 Anfield – Dick Kerr Ladies 9 v 1
Harry Wheldon’s Internationals

On Monday 14th February 1921 one of the famous games of the Dick Kerr Ladies took place in Liverpool. Harry Wheldon the music-hall comedian was appearing in Dick Whittington at the Olympia in Liverpool with Ella Retford. A Charity Costume Carnival, 1 ½ mile Procession and a Ladies football match were organised. The procession left Olympia at noon and proceeded along to Anfield where the football game took place. The International team was made up of players from as far afield as London and Scotland. The ‘Internationals’ team was captained by Edith Waine the famous St Helens goalkeeper and my granny’s first Captain. 14,000 spectators saw the game and a lot of money was raised for unemployed ex-servicemen. Along with Harry Wheldon, a ‘Major Cecil Kent of Liverpool’ is credited with being one of the organisers.

Cecil Kent’s Letter: 5 December 1921

“Are Their Feet heavier on the Turf than the Men’s Feet?”

Dear Mr Frederick Wall – FA Secretary

I may mention that in the present and past seasons I have watched about 30 ladies football matches between various teams. I have met all the organisers of the teams and all the girls in the elevens I have travelled with them frequently by road and rail I have attended the various functions to which they have been invited and have met Lord Mayors and Mayors and also the officials of the local charities and football clubs concerned.

On all hands I have heard nothing but praise for the good work the girls are doing and the high standard of their play. The only thing I now hear from the man in the street is, Why have the F.A. got their knife into girls’ football? What have the girls done except to raise large sums for charity and to play the game? Are their feet heavier on the turf than the men’s feet?

The girls of the Dick, Kerr’s team are all workers, who, when they are away playing football, draw from their “gates” the equivalent of their loss of time – generally not more than 10 shillings each for a whole day.

Regarding their entertainment to lunch and tea, Major Kent says that

… they are often given an insufficient meal and something in the nature of a sacred concert instead of a jazz dance, while invariably they are regaled with a dozen long and more or less dull speeches by the local mutual admiration society, who in every town say almost the same thing until ‘bored stiff’ represents the girls’ feelings.

Major Kent points out there are many reasons that their expenses sometimes appear a trifle high. Firstly a girls’ team, for considerations of health, must carry more reserves than are necessary for men’s clubs. Secondly, when arriving home by train late at night or in the early hours of the morning, taxis must be hired to take girls home to outlying districts.

I can only say that I know that no unnecessary expenses are ever charged by the reputable girls football clubs, and that the charities alone benefit from the matches.

Hitherto the F.A. have made no attempt to control girls’ football, but if they only legislate the girls’ clubs will accept their regulations cheerfully and abide by them faithfully. The excellent behaviour and obedience of the girls on the field of play is a sufficient indication of that, and I am sure Mr Howcroft or any of the other leading referees who have controlled games will testify to this.

Before your council takes any drastic or final step on this important matter I sincerely hope that they will seriously consider the question of legislating for ladies’ football and that in any case they will refrain from debarring the girls from using their grounds when available. Such a ban would raise two main points.

Firstly, by act of the F.A., every Lord Mayor, Mayor, unemployed fund, hospital, and other charity in England would be deliberately deprived of what is now a little gold-mine to them. I am quite aware that the F.A. Charity matches annually raise about £20,000, but the girls supplement to this of £100,000 in two years can hardly be ignored.

Secondly, a little gratitude is undoubtedly due to the girls themselves for all they have done and are willing to continue to do. The greatest reward that can be given to them by the F.A. is to be allowed to go on playing the game. That is all they ask. For football they have given up other amusements and other forms of sport, although in many cases lack of means and opportunity do not grant them much choice of the latter. Many of the girls have now played continuously, winter and summer, for four years, and they have become confirmed footballers.

Wilfully to deprive them now of the game they love would be far worse than to pass an Act of Parliament forbidding all confirmed golfers ever to set foot on a golf course again. For one thing, golf is a selfish game, whereas girls’ football is utterly unselfish and supremely useful.

Yours sincerely

Cecil Kent

Author’s Note

This is my first attempt to reconstruct the letter from 100 years ago. The letter was heavily quoted in a number of newspapers.

The ‘Wilderness Years’

1925: A Puzzling Tour

The 1925 Gallery of Champions Tour is a puzzle. It is an outlier. It is not built upon a meteoric rise in support for women’s football. Quite the opposite. The Dick Kerr Ladies lost three times in 1923. Shortly after the 1922 American tour Carmen returned to France accompanied by her good friend Florrie Redford. Jenny Harris joined Heys Brewery Bradford Ladies. They had lost three of their superstars. In March 1923 the DKL lost 3 v 1 to St Helens and in September 1923 they lost twice. Rutherglen beat them 2 v 0 in Glasgow and Stoke (in their last game) beat them 1 – 0 at Colne Cricket Club. The great Daisy Bates sprinted half the length of the pitch and blasted one in. The DKL lost a lot of money on the two floodlight games at Turf Moor against Heys at the end of 1923. They had all sorts of plans for 1924 such as touring Ireland but nothing came off. In Parts 2 and 3 I will have more to say about the ‘Wilderness Years’ and the ‘Renaissance’ of the 1930s. As indicated in the table above it wasn’t until 1932 that the French under Carmen Pomies were to tour again and although this was an incredibly important tour it was only for 4 games and only 2 of these were in England.

1925:Carmen & the Gallery of Champions

Greeted by Three Admirals and a Major General

Victoria Station, London
Source: BNA Daily Mirror Monday 11 May

An Excited Carmen Outlines The Plan

The afternoon of Sunday 10th May 1925 found 88 year old Rear Admiral Sir Edmund R Freemantle (known as ‘the father of the navy’), Rear Admiral Alfred Grant, Vice-Admiral Sir Drury Wake and Major General Lorn Campbell standing on the concourse of Victoria Rail Station in London. In the welcoming party was the organiser of the tour Cecil Kent and the visiting secretary of Shipwrecked Mariners Society Captain Fred Haworth. Also waiting were a team of excited Lancashire lasses and their manager Alfred Frankland. The objects of this unique honour were one of the greatest women’s football teams to ever leave the shores of France. The 12 strong tour party was managed by the distinguished and respected Sports Administrator Eugene Janvier. Monsieur Janvier was a runner and distance walker prior to World War 1 and needed a stick to walk because of his tin leg. The team of footballers had been selected from the 6 Femina Sports Football Teams and included 4 Gallery of Champions Players: Captain Carmen Pomies, Mado, Thérèse Brulé (now Madame Herckelbout) and athletic Catalan goalkeeper Ida Rebardy. Carmen was interviewed in the Bonnington Hotel on Southampton Row, London where the teams were staying for Sunday night. “Tomorrow we are all going to be received by the Lord Mayor of London at the Mansion House, then we are going to see your wonderful Wembley, and after that we are going to have tea on the Terrace at Westminster”. “We are very proud of that distinction and we hope the members of Parliament will like us! Yes! Then we are going to play football”. To my knowledge no other women’s football team in the history of football has been honoured with an invitation to Parliament. My granny was 20 years old…

1925: Guests of Lord Mayor of London

Lord Mayor of London – Sir Alfred Louis Bower
Source: BNA Illustrated London News Saturday 4 October

Received at Mansion House by the Lord Mayor

Upon waking up and checking out of their hotel the teams would have had a two mile taxi ride to Mansion House in the City of London. Performing the role of host was 1st Baronet of Chislehurst the vintner Sir Alfred Louis Bower, Lord Mayor of London. This was not the first time the Dick Kerr Ladies or their visitors were honoured in such a manner. In May of 1920 on the inaugural tour Carmen and Mado had been guests of the then Lord Mayor with the Dick Kerr Ladies after defeating them at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea. The Olympique de Paris team were also honoured with a visit to Mansion House in March 1922. After their visit to Mansion House the teams headed towards the Houses of Parliament for their date with destiny. Unfortunately, I don’t think that Carmen got her chance to see ‘wonderful Wembley’.

1925: Sir Jack Benn Brunel Cohen KBE – A Truly Great Man…

Major Sir Jack Benn Brunel Cohen – Autobiography
Source: Lizzy Ashcroft Collection

Femina Sport And Dick Kerr Ladies Guests at Houses of Parliament

After their visit to Mansion House another 2 ½ mile taxi ride took both teams to the Houses of Parliament in Westminster. Liverpool Fairfield MP Sir Jack Benn Cohen was hosting them to tea on the House of Commons Terrace. Jack Cohen was the son of a well to do family in Liverpool. He married and when World War 1 came like a lot of his generation he volunteered. Injured in the third battle of Ypres on 31st July 1917 he had both legs amputated.

Source: Count Your Blessings – Sir Brunel Cohen KBE

His courage and spirit in the face of adversity allowed him to launch a civilian career which took him to the House of Commons for 13 years. He was a moving spirit and founder of the British Legion having badge number 5 and being their Honorary Treasurer for 25 years. He relentlessly fought for the rights of ex-servicemen, injured servicemen and for their memory. When there were serious plans in the early 1920s by the government to dilute the activities around Remembrance Day (I found this hard to believe when I read it…) he added his powerful voice to the campaign to maintain Remembrance Day as an important part of the national calendar. He travelled all around Europe and was a strong advocate of rapprochement after World War 1 between the former enemy nations for which he was not always popular.

1925: Gallery of Champions Tour – 10 Games

Femina Sport Club of Paris
Mado (4th left), Ida (7th left), Carmen (right)
Source: Lizzy Ashcroft Collection

Dick Kerr Ladies ‘World Champions’
Lily Parr (holding ball), Lizzy Ashcroft (next)
Source: Lizzy Ashcroft Collection

1925: Herne Hill Velodrome

Dick Kerr Ladies with Celebrity Comedian George Robey
“BFI Fair Footballers”
Source: Courtesy British Film Institute

The Lilies of England Defeat the Lilies of France…

It is my opinion that this is one of the most important football games in the history of women’s football. Images and film from this game went all around the world and are still doing so nearly 100 years later. In the simple graphic which I shared earlier I began to define the context of the ‘wilderness years’ where this game took place. My 5 foot 8 inch granny can be seen standing next to the goalkeeper and her great friend the incredible Lily Parr can be seen with her arm around George listening to his words of wisdom. This beautiful and high quality clip of film shows the DKL Captain Florrie Redford running out with the ball from the Stadium Tunnel followed by Lily Parr and then by granny Lizzy Ashcroft. George Robey then lines up with the ladies followed by Captains Carmen and Florrie Redford shaking hands. We then see George at the kick off with three legends of French football – Carmen Pomies, Madeleine ‘Mado’ Bracquemond and Germaine Thomas. There then follows a Lily Parr dribble followed by a RIGHT foot shot – like a semi-inebriated grizzly bear wandering around the pitch and very reminiscent of Chris Waddle. We then see Carmen pole-axe the DKL goalie (goalies had a lot less protection in those days!!) and my granny remonstrate with Carmen. There are other clips available on British Pathe.

The game was won by 4 goals to 2 in favour of the Dick Kerr Ladies. Lily Parr scored 2, Lily Lee and Lily Buxton one each. The two Femina goals were scored by Carmen Pomies.

Ida Rebardy: La Galerie des Champions

Ida featured in Tres Sport
Source: Lizzy Ashcroft Collection

1925: The Gallery of Champions Tour

This touring team from France was a very, very special gathering of athletes. Galerie des Champions Thérèse Brulé (Mme Herckelbout), Madeleine ‘Mado’ Bracquemond and Carmen Pomies were joined by another ‘Galerie of Champions’ athlete and footballer, the Catalan goalkeeper Ida Rebardy. Ida was making her debut on English soil and she was kept very busy by a very strong Dick Kerr Ladies side. Remember, players like my granny and Lily Parr were aged 20 and must have been at the height of their footballing powers.

A Kiss is Just a Kiss?

Carmen Pomies and Florrie Redford
Source: BNA The Sphere Saturday 16 May 1925 p6

Carmen and Florrie Were Very Good Friends…

The proverbial ‘kitchen sink’ was thrown at this game. The teams were filmed and photographed. Both teams had exploited the power of the kiss as an image previously. When the Dick Kerr Ladies played the FSFSF French team on 1st May 1920 at Stockport, Captains Alice Kell and Madeleine Bracquemond posed for a kiss. The Stockport kiss was one of a number of staged photographs taken before the game. The Carmen/Florrie kiss was a very knowing kiss between two very intimate friends and the image was repeated all over the world. They knew exactly what they were doing. The image was widely used in the British and French press with newspapers such as the national Daily Mirror, the London publication The Sphere and the Leeds Mercury all printing. Argentinian magazine El Grafico printed the image on the front page of its June issue. The image was repeated in a number of American newspapers as far and wide as the Minneapolis Star and the Saskatchewan Leader Post. Even the normally conservative Dublin Herald showed the picture. Women in shorts – and they are kissing! I have stated in a previous article where I tried to debunk some of the more ridiculous myths around my granny’s great friend Lily Parr that Lily and her ilk were extremely private women. Florrie and Carmen by contrast were confident extroverts. I will explore this tour in detail in Part 2. The other team claiming to be ‘World Champions’ at the time were from Scotland…

1927: A Historic Tour – ‘Scotland’ vs ‘Ireland’

‘Scotland’ – Rutherglen/ J H Kelly XI in Derry in May 1927
Source: Bigger McDonald Collection

‘Ireland’ – Molly Seaton XI in Derry in May 1927
Source: Bigger McDonald Collection

1927: A Remarkable Tour

James H Kelly of Rutherglen, near Glasgow did not have a ‘Galerie des Champions’ French team to tour with. He did not have a Cecil Kent to organise the tour with the assistance of Captain Haworth of the Shipwrecked Mariners Society. It is important to understand just how significant and unique this particular tour was. The next high profile tour not involving Rutherglen on these islands was when Femina Sport toured England with the Dick Kerr Ladies (Preston Ladies) in 1932. Neither the Dick Kerr Ladies nor Femina Sport were able to achieve their long held aim of playing in Dublin but J H Kelly achieved this on this unique tour. The importance of ‘seeding’ the 1930s renaissance of women’s football in Northern Ireland cannot be underestimated. The fabulous J. H Kelly gave us his two star footballers: the legendary Molly Seaton, Belfast’s finest footballer and Sadie Smith, the superstar of Rutherglen. I have written a detailed two part article covering initial research into this incredibly important team and Inter-War Scottish Women’s football with Dr Fiona Skillen of Glasgow Caledonian University. The articles are published on Playing Pasts (Reference and links at the end of this article).

Conclusion to Part 1

Football is a game played between two teams. It is impossible to be a truly great team if you haven’t had truly great opposition. Thanks to Gail Newsham’s pioneering work we are now beginning to realise how significant the Dick Kerr Ladies football team was before and after the 1921 ban. In trying to research my granny Lizzy Ashcroft’s career I have tried to contextualise her career with the Dick Kerr Ladies and the star players and star teams of the time. I will be providing further evidence in Parts 2 and 3 to support my contention that ‘Mado’ Bracquemond was the greatest French woman footballer and that Carmen Pomies was the most important woman footballer in history.

It is not possible to do justice to this rich and important topic in three short articles. I have gone to every effort to make this article as accurate as possible, but my research is ongoing. I have used this article as an opportunity to make informed conclusions and hypotheses based on the research that I have done to date. Writing about women’s football from 100 years ago is full of pitfalls. It is likely that further evidence will arise and these theories will have to be adapted or even corrected. This is the spirit in which this article and the following articles are presented.

Article © of Steve Bolton

Read Part two by clicking HERE

My thanks to Gail Newsham without whose pioneering work this article would not be possible. For women’s football on the Continent I recommend the work of Helge Faller. My thanks to Dr Fiona Skillen for her support in writing this article.

In particular I would like to thank Sylvia White at the Shipwrecked Mariners Society who has provided insightful documentation from their archives. The Archive team at Westminster School have been similarly helpful and reading copies of their school magazine “The Elizabethan” from that era has been fascinating and has really helped to build a picture of the life of Cecil Kent. My thanks to Elizabeth and Bethany.

Dick, Kerr Ladies come to Philadelphia, 1922

It isn’t recorded in the the 1922 Spalding Guide, nor at the American Soccer History Archives, but in 1922, some 5,000 soccer fans turned out at Philadelphia Baseball Park to see the first women’s soccer team to play in Philadelphia.

They were called Dick, Kerr Ladies and they were from England.


While the first women’s team, the British Ladies Football Club, had been organized in England in 1895, the prevailing values of the day meant that the growth of the women’s game was slow. This began to change with the advent of the First World War, which saw a flood of women entering the workforce to replace men who had been called to the trenches of Western Europe. That influx of women workers was followed by the formation of a number of workplace-based women’s teams in England. By the end of the war, Dick, Kerr Ladies was widely recognized as one of the best.

Originally a manufacturer of electric rail and tramway equipment, Dick, Kerr & Company was converted into a munitions manufacturer during the war. From informal kick-abouts during work breaks, the founding members of the team that would become Dick, Kerr ladies played their first official match on Christmas Day, 1917, at Deepdale, then home of Preston North End in Lancashire. In front of 10,000 spectators, the team defeated another women’s team from a local foundry, 4–0, with the proceeds from the match being donated to a local hospital.

Dick, Kerr Ladies continued to play other women’s teams in charity matches after the Armistice in November, 1918. In 1920, they traveled to France to play a series of matches against women’s teams there. After returning to England, they played in front of 53,000 spectators at Goodison Park in Liverpool on Boxing Day, defeating St. Helen’s Ladies 4-0. In 1921, Dick, Kerr Ladies played 67 matches in front of nearly 900,000 spectators—an average of nearly 13,500 people per game—all while also working full time factory jobs.

And then the FA stepped in.

Rumblings had been appearing in the press that not enough money was being directed to the charities who benefited from women’s games. Dick, Kerr Ladies also gained no friends in high places when they began to play charity matches for workers struggling to feed their families during the 1921 Miners Lockout. But the issue for many people—which is to say for many men who were appalled by the social changes during and after the war that followed the entrance of so many women into positions in the workplace that had previously been held by men—was simply the idea of women playing a “manly” sport like soccer. It didn’t help that women’s teams like Dick, Kerr Ladies were outdrawing many men’s teams.

On December 5, 1921, the FA banned member clubs from allowing women’s teams from playing on their grounds under penalty of sanction. While mention of financial questions was included in the unanimous ruling, the language that opened the announcement was more to the point:

Complaints having been made as to football being played by women, the council feel impelled to express their strong opinion that the game of football is quite unsuitable for females and ought not to be encouraged.

That the FA’s pronouncement was based on “strong opinion” rather than fact is revealing to the reader today. But at the time, the FA had no trouble finding male and female doctors willing to go on record as saying a “women’s physical frame” could not withstand the “violent leg strain” and “jerky movements” of a “rough game” like soccer.

While Dick, Kerr Ladies continued to play charity matches on non-league grounds, new opportunity soon came from across the Atlantic.

To America

Dick, Kerr Ladies disembarked in September of 1922 for a North American tour that included some 24 matches over four months. The tour was backed by the Brooklyn Football Club and promoted by David Brooks, a former Newcastle United player, and was to begin in Canada before continuing in the US with stops along the East Coast and as far west as Chicago, Detroit, and St. Louis. Upon their arrival in Quebec, however, the team was informed that the Dominion of Canada Football Association had refused to support the tour and banned the team from playing in Canada. At the association’s annual general meeting in Winnipeg only days before the team’s arrival, a resolution had passed which said, “We do not approve of the proposal of Ladies Football.” It was terribly disappointing news but given the influence of the FA, and the chauvinism of the day, it may not have been surprising.

From 24 matches over four months, the tour was now reduced to a handful of games over several weeks. As if that news wasn’t bad enough, the team was also informed that it would be playing men’s teams—including professional teams of the recently formed American Soccer League (ASL)— as there simply were not enough women’s teams of sufficient quality in the US to play the visitors.

Dick, Kerr Ladies photographed in Pawtucket, RI, September, 1922. (Left to right) Florrie Haslam, Mollie Walker, Alice Woods, Jennie Harris, Alice Kell, Lily Lee, Florrie Redford, Jessie Walmsley, Lily Parr, Carmen Pomies, Daisy Clayton. Photo courtesy of Gail J. Newsham.

Dick, Kerr Ladies played their first game of the tour against Paterson Football Club on Sunday, September 24, losing 6–3. On Saturday, September 30, they tied J & P Coats FC 4–4 in Pawtucket, losing the following day 7–5 in New York City to Centro-Hispano. By now, the team had had enough of the current management of the tour. If the cancelled games, and shoddy hotels that they had thus far been staying in, were not enough, the team was being billed as coming from Newcastle. After hearing an appeal from the team, the United States Football Association (USFA), today known as the US Soccer Federation, agreed to step in and take over the management of the remainder of the tour.

The 1922 Spalding Guide reports, “The finances, routing and other details of the tour by the management of the Brooklyn Football Club became so muddled that in order to protect against the tourists’ being stranded in this country, the management of the tour was taken over by Mr. Thomas Bagnall, appointed U.S.F.A representative to accompany the team, and the tour was reduced to seven games, confined to the Atlantic States.” (The tour eventually included nine games.)

Conditions improved considerably and so did the team’s record, with Dick, Kerr Ladies going on a five game unbeaten streak that included two draws: 4–4 against Washington Stars on October 8 and 2–2 against Fall River Marksmen on October 15 and three wins: 5–4 against New Bedford Whalers on October 11, 8–4 against New York FC on October 14, and 4–3 against Baltimore SC on October 22.

On November 4, 1922, Dick, Kerr Ladies would play Philadelphia Field Club of the professional ASL in the final game of the tour.

The game almost didn’t happen.

In Philadelphia

On August 14, 1922 Philadelphia Inquirer soccer reporter Levi Wilcox reported the “soccer magnates” of the Football Association of Eastern Pennsylvania and District, the regional governing body of soccer affiliated with the USFA, were refusing to sanction a Dick, Kerr Ladies game in Philadelphia. According to “a well-known coach and former player,” the reason “there was opposition to the women playing here was the fear that a victory for the women players might hurt the sport in the colleges and schools.” In other words, the leaders of the Eastern Pennsylvania and District were worried a victory by the women over a men’s team would be so humiliating as to turn young male players away from the game.

Wilcox proceeded to eloquently dismantle such a view, pointing to the fact that “basketball, hockey and even polo matches have been played in this city between men and women players” with no harm to the development of those sports. More generally, Wilcox reminded his readers that the USFA had sanctioned the Dick, Kerr Ladies tour:

The National Commission must have been of the opinion that if the appearance of these feminine dribblers did not help foster the game that it would not retard its progress or they would never have granted the request…We fail to fathom where these women players pitted against a picked team will hurt the progress of the game one iota.

Indeed, Wilcox argued that, if the game was thoughtfully scheduled and properly promoted, it could prove to be a boon for soccer in Philadelphia: “A match of this sort will be a novelty and will be the means of encouraging many a spectator to travel to Disston Ball Park for the purpose of witnessing these women in action, who probably has never before seen a soccer match.”

On August 28, Wilcox reported “the Eastern moguls have refused sanction for a game here.” For Wilcox, this was yet another reason for a leadership change at the Eastern Pennsylvania and District:

New blood is badly needed in the government of the game in this city. Those who have been at the helm the last few years have apparently worn themselves thread bare and on that account are shorn of new ideas in keeping pace with the progress of the game. Instead of officials being elected every year who have had their schooling in other countries they should be stripped of their official robes and give Young America a chance.

Wilcox reported on September 13 that Philadelphia was still on the schedule for the Dick, Kerr Ladies tour “but as the Eastern district moguls are not anxious to sanction a game between these women and a picked team in this city, nor any other team for that matter, local soccer fans are to be deprived of witnessing this women’s team play unless, of course, they make the trip to one of the cities where they are scheduled.” But on October 24, the Inquirer reported that Thomas Scott, manager of the ASL’s Philadelphia FC team, had announced arrangements had been made to host Dick, Kerr Ladies at Philadelphia Ball Park on November 4.

On October 30, Wilcox continued his positive promotion of the game, describing the Dick, Kerr Ladies team as “one of the strongest ever sent to this country” — male or female. He continued,

Instead of the tourists playing the game of the pink tea order as some might imagine, they charge as keenly as the men players while their combination play rivals that of some of the English leaguers.

They are also exceptionally fast on the ball while their control from one player to another is so accurate that one would imagine that the ball was literally glued to their feet…

Strong as the Phillies might be with well-known rushing and bustling tactics, they will find these women will not give them an inch of ground in that respect. The team is built both for speed and is also capable of holding its own when it comes to roughing it.

Dick, Kerr Ladies arrived in Philadelphia on Tuesday, October 31, settling into the Washington Hotel to prepare for their Saturday match at Philadelphia Baseball Park. Wilcox reported on October 31 the team’s Philadelphia stay would be “the first time since they arrived in this country that the players have been fortunate enough to stay in one city more than an over-night stand.” Wilcox wrote on November 1,

The players when interviewed last night were rather modest regarding their abilities in the dribbling game. Even Captain Alice Kell, who plays right full back would not commit herself anent the chances of her team defeating the Phillies. She stated however, that providing the Phillies play the game without resorting to foul tactics that they would give the spectators a real treat in the art of combination play.

The “Phillies” were the Philadelphia Field Club, the ASL team that had won the inaugural 1921-22 season championship of the new professional league. But the 1922-23 version was a much different team than the one that had played the previous season. That 1921-22 team was basically Bethlehem Steel FC, whose owners had moved the team to Philadelphia with the expectation of making a killing at the gate. While the team cruised to the league championship—Harold Brittan and Tommy Fleming combined for 39 of the team’s 72 goals while goalkeeper Findlay Kerr finished the season with a 1.5 goals allowed average with 7 shutouts in 24 games—attendance was below expectation. In the 1922-23 season, Bethlehem entered the ASL under their own name and former BSFC/Philadelphia FC players like Brittan and Fleming went to other deep-pocketed clubs like Fall River Marksmen and J & P Coats in Pawtucket.


Wilcox wrote in his match report, published in the Philadelphia Inquirer on November 5, that while a large crowd was expected for the game,

It was not expected, however, that even though this girls’ aggregation had defeated every fair sex team in England the last three years that they would prove a match for the Phillies. They gave the locals a corking game, however, besides giving the crowd a rare treat in witnessing them pass and dribble the ball in real English league style.

The game started poorly for Dick, Kerr Ladies with Philadelphia scoring three minutes after the opening whistle. After only 15 minutes of play, the scoreline was 2–0. Wilcox described, “With two goals to the good and the game only fifteen minutes old, this would have discouraged many a man’s team. Not so with this English combination, for they got right down to hard playing.”

By the time 25 minutes had elapsed, the score was 2–1. But the visitors soon conceded another goal. “The English girls then began the aggressive,” Wilcox wrote and before the halftime whistle was called, the score was 3–2.

If many in the crowd had shown up for a novel spectacle, the play of the Dick, Kerr Ladies was winning them over. Wilcox wrote that when they leveled the scoreline three minutes after the restart, “the crowd were with the English girls almost to a man, woman, and child.”

After that, play continued to be wide open. Wilcox wrote, “Rapid-fire scoring then took place before the end of the game by both teams,” and five more goals were scored before the final whistle.

In the end, it was Philadelphia FC 6–5 Dick, Kerr Ladies.


Did Philadelphia play Dick, Kerr Ladies with the same intensity with which they would play a men’s team? It is safe to assume they did not. Wilcox notes in his match report that Philadelphia “did not charge the players as they generally handle their other opponents,” and earlier reports from the tour also describe male players going easy on their female opponents.

But it is likely that, as had been the case with the 5,000 spectators who were on hand for the game in Philadelphia, the male players found new respect for their opponents. Paterson goalkeeper Peter Renzulli later recalled, “We were national champions and we had a hell of a job beating them.” As Wilcox wrote in his match report, “The English team not only gave an exhibition of soccer that is seldom witnessed on local grounds, but they demonstrated that women can play soccer the same as men—and to say they play it well is only putting it mildly on their exhibition yesterday.”

Wilcox continued to express how impressed he was with the skill of the players in another article on November 9. “From what we witnessed last Saturday, these English girls, while not as robust as the men players, which is to be expected from the weaker sex, have more of the game in their bonnets than any team we have witnessed play in this country, with the exception, of course, the English elevens which have played here.”

Wilcox also reaffirmed his belief that the Dick, Kerr Ladies’ match would prove to be a boost for soccer in Philadelphia generally. “The match between the Phillies and the English soccerettes at Philadelphia Ball Park last Saturday did much to foster the grand old dribbling game, particularly among a number of fans who went there expressly for the novelty of girls playing against the stronger sex. Among the thousands were a large number of spectators who had never before seen a soccer match and who might become ardent followers of the game after that grand exhibition they lamped last Saturday, particularly from the girls’ side.”

Dick, Kerr Ladies back in England in 1923. Photo: courtesy of Gail J. Newsham.


Wilcox wrote in several of his articles on Dick, Kerr Ladies visit to Philadelphia that more spectators than the 5,000 who had seen the game would have turned out if only the officers of the USFA-affiliated Football Association of Eastern Pennsylvania and District had seen fit both to sanction the game and also postpone local league games.

The effect the absence of the local soccer governing body’s sanction had had on attendance would soon become overshadowed by another issue. On November 19, Wilcox reported that the “Eastern District moguls” had “suspended the Phillies indefinitely for having the audacity to play the English soccerettes, even after that trip had been sanctioned by the National Association.” For the Phillies, the suspension meant the team was forbidden to play any local teams under the governance of the Eastern District. And so, Hibernian withdrew from the scheduled Thanksgiving match against the Phillies rather than face action themselves.

Along with Philadelphia FC, Jimmy Walder, the legendary Philadelphia referee and former Philadelphia FC manager, had also been suspended. The members of Pennsylvania Referee’s Association—”which was formed years before even the Eastern District was even thought of [and] has long had a standing in the community without a blemish”—resolved after “a huge majority vote” on November 24 to file an appeal against Walder’s suspension with the secretary of the Eastern District. If that didn’t work, an appeal would be made to the USFA.

Whatever the motivations behind the Eastern District’s refusal to endorse the Dick, Kerr Ladies match, the conflict after the game took on the form of a political turf war. Wilcox wrote on November 25, “It is the first time in the history of soccer football in this country that a subordinate organization, as the Eastern District is a State body, has acted contrary to the rulings of the United States Football Association, the parent organization.”

Unsurprisingly, the Eastern District’s view of the situation was different. The Evening Public Ledger reported on Nov. 14 that, according to the Eastern District, it was impossible for Philadelphia FC to have received permission from the USFA to play the match “as the parent body cannot invade the territory over which it has jurisdiction.” The Evening Public Ledger report continued, “Local soccer men say if the ruling of the Eastern District is not upheld, soccer laws in America are a farce.”

It was a view without much support. Wilcox wrote on November 30, “every fair-minded soccer fan” in Philadelphia realized that the Eastern District had “pulled a ‘boner’” in sanctioning the Phillies and Walder.

Philadelphia FC would finish bottom of the table in the ASL. After starting the season with a 2-1 win over Bethlehem Steel and playing to a 3–1–1 record over the first five games of the 1922-23 ASL season, Philadelphia lost 5–1 to Paterson the day after they played Dick, Kerr Ladies. It was game three of what would become a 19-game winless streak. The winless streak actually stretched to 21 games for while Philadelphia closed out the season with victories over Brooklyn Wanderers, the league awarded the points from those games to Brooklyn after it was determined that the Phillies had fielded an ineligible player.

Wilcox reported on November 9 that the manager of the Dick, Kerr Ladies tour had decided to remain in Philadelphia and “throw his lot in with the Philadelphia Soccer Field Club” where he would “coach the players and also play in some of the important matches at full-back.” Looking at the records in Colin Jose’s American Soccer League, 1921-1930, it appears Brooks played for Philadelphia in five games.

From the Philadelphia Evening Public Ledger, Nov. 1, 1922. It would be decades until the passage of Title IX would lead to the national growth of women’s soccer in the US.

In her book In a League of their own!, Gail Newsham relates an account given by Herbert Stanley, who served as a secretary on the tour. According to Stanley, Brooks “had left his wife and family and cleared [England] without saying a word. He had been doing negotiations for the tour in secret, and this was his getaway.” Stanley said of Brook, “looking back I feel that for a most plausible rogue, David took the cake.”

Moving forward

Dick, Kerr Ladies remained in Philadelphia until the day before they disembarked from New York back for England on November 9. Other teams had expressed interest in playing Dick, Kerr Ladies and Wilcox reports that promoters in Bethlehem and Wilmington, Del., were eager to host the team before their departure. But a USFA financial report in the 1923 Spalding Guide says “it was found that the guarantees offered were not sufficient to cover expenses.”

Wilcox relates that the team “were loath to leave this city after being entertained and treated in better style than in another city” since the start of their tour and that “the hospitality of local soccer fans will long be remembered.”

Dick, Kerr Ladies became Preston Ladies in 1926 and continued to play and raise money for charity until the end of the club in 1965. Between their founding in 1917 and demise in 1965, the team played 828 games, winning 758, drawing 46, and losing 24. 50 years after it had imposed its 1921 ban, the England FA finally recognized the women’s game in 1971,

But what of their impact on the development of the women’s game locally?

In a column on November 6, 1922, Wilcox writes, “We would travel many miles to witness those English soccerettes in action if they were pitted against a girls’ team. And it is a safe bet these girls would outclass their opponents.” But Wilcox noted in an article on November 9, that “women soccer players in this city are almost as scarce as hen’s teeth.” A photo in the November 1, 1922 edition of the Evening Public Ledger shows three “Temple soccerettes” but they were not part of an organized, varsity-level team.

For decades after Dick, Kerr’s visit, the scarcity of women’s soccer in Philadelphia described by Wilcox remained true. In an interview with Philly Soccer Page, Kensington-born National Soccer Hall of Famer Len Oliver, who was born in 1933 and grew up playing the game in 1940s and 50s, said,

Even if they were interested, girls were discouraged from playing both unorganized (“pickup”) and organized soccer (high school, college). For example, if a girl appeared to play in one of our street (or cemetery) soccer games, we would simply say, “No, this is not for girls!” So girls were discouraged at home from playing our sport, were discouraged by the pick-up players, and were unable to find high school or college teams because there were none. It was simply a “man’s game.” Unfortunately, because we lost a generation of potential female soccer players.

Oliver, who would later become a coach when his daughters developed an interest in the game, emphasized the importance of Title IX in opening up opportunities for girls and women to play soccer. The landmark legislation became law on June 23, 1972, just as the soccer boom that accompanied the early success of the first NASL was beginning.

To today’s soccer fan, it can be surprising to be reminded how slow the growth of the women’s game remained even with Title IX. By 1978 there was an Ivy League women’s soccer champion with other collegiate athletic conferences slowly adding women’s leagues through the 1980s and 1990s. At the international level, US Soccer finally fielded a women’s team in 1985 and the first Women’s World Cup—originally called the Women’s International Soccer Championship—was won by the US in 1991. Women’s soccer was finally recognized as an Olympic sport for the 1996 games in Atlanta where the US won the gold.

Meanwhile, women’s professional soccer continued its fitful struggle to find its place in the sports marketplace. Philadelphia Charge played three seasons in the Women’s United Soccer Association beginning in 2001 before the league’s collapse in 2003. Philadelphia Independence joined Women’s Professional Soccer one year after that league’s founding and played two season before the league folded in 2012. The Philadelphia Fever participated in the short-lived Women’s Elite League, which was organized as a stopgap by WPSL after WPS folded. When the US Soccer-backed professional National Women’s Soccer League was announced for the 2013 season, a Philadelphia club was absent from the list of participating teams.

As to the question of who the first women’s soccer team from Philly was, I’m sorry, and more than a little ashamed, to say I simply do not know. I welcome information from readers who may know more.

A version of this article originally appeared at Philly Soccer Page on May 8, 2013

What Haslam family records will you find?

There are 70,000 census records available for the last name Haslam. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Haslam census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

There are 8,000 immigration records available for the last name Haslam. Passenger lists are your ticket to knowing when your ancestors arrived in Canada, and how they made the journey - from the ship name to ports of arrival and departure.

There are 6,000 military records available for the last name Haslam. For the veterans among your Haslam ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

There are 70,000 census records available for the last name Haslam. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Haslam census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

There are 8,000 immigration records available for the last name Haslam. Passenger lists are your ticket to knowing when your ancestors arrived in Canada, and how they made the journey - from the ship name to ports of arrival and departure.

There are 6,000 military records available for the last name Haslam. For the veterans among your Haslam ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

Florrie Haslam - History

Lydia Ackers, Frances Appleby (Foulkes), Sheila Appleby, Elsie Arnold, Lizzy Ashcroft

Audrey Bagot, A Ball, Carol Barber, E Barker, Joan Barker, Marion Barker, Dorothy Barnett,

Lesley Caldwell, Barbara Carlton, Joan Carruthers, Doris Carter, Mary Carter, Pat Catterall, Sue Chorley, Sheila Clague, Edna Clarke, Elsie Clarke, Joan Clay, Daisy Clayton, E Clayton, Edna Clayton,

Miss Crawshaw, M Creane, Annie Crozier, Bessie Cunliffe

Betty Daggar, Barbara Dandy, Louie Davies, Jean Dent, Annie Derbyshire, Jacky Devaux, May Dickinson, Jessie Dickinson, Cissy Dixon, Margaret Dolderson, Miss Donoghue, Eleanor Doyle, Amy Duxbury,

Dorothy Eastwood, Joan Eckton, Pat Ellis, Margaret Ephgrave, Doreen Espley

Joan Fairclough, S Fairclough, K Finnesty, Marjorie Foulkes, J Frankland

Diane Gant, Eva Gardner, R.J. Garrier, Freda Garth, Doreen Gibbon, Jean Gibson, Barbara Gilbert,
Marjorie Giles, Ellen Glover, Mavis Glover, D Gollin, Jean Gollin, Mary Goodinson, May Graham,

Annie Green, June Gregson, Pam Gregson, Emma Grice, Margaret Groom

Yvonne Hamer (Cooper), Marjorie Hanley, Alice Hargreaves, Jennie Harris, Lily Harris,

Rosette Huard, Sally Hulme, Edith Hutton, Peggy Hyton

Eva Jessop, Miss Johnson, Emily Jones, Lily Jones

M Kay, Brenda Keen, Alice Kell, Sally Kendall, K Kenyon, May Knowles

Jenny Lancaster, Jean Lane, Barbara Large, E Latham, Kath Latham, Kath Lear, Lily Lee, Ann Lord,
Kathleen Luke, Gladys Lunn, Irene Lydiate, Ann Lymath, Annie Lynch, G Lyons, Minnie Lyons

Miss McAvoy, Bridget McCauley, Ann McGrath, Lorraine McKenna, Emma McLean, Lucy Marsden,
Annie Marsland, Annie Marsh, Ethel Marsh, F Martin, Lily Martin, Peggy Mason, Peggy Melling,
Margaret Miller, Pat Miller, Alice Mills, Nellie Mitchell, Jean Moizer, M Moran, Doris Morley,

Hilda Nettle, Alice Newsham, May Newton, Brenda Nicholson, Doreen Neild, E Nixon, Alice Norris,
Doreen Norris

Louise Ourry, Sue Owen, Winnie Owen

Sheila Parker (Porter), A Parkinson, F Parkinson, Hilda Parkinson, Jean Parnell, Lily Parr,

E Riegnall, Pauline Rimmer, Joan Roberts, Susan Robinson, Glenys Rostron, Jean Rowlands, E Rudd

Dorothy Saycell, Polly Scott, Margaret Scratchley, B Seddon, Minnie Seed, C Sharpe, Betty Sharples,
Peggy Sharples, H Shaw, Maggie Shaw, A Shipperbottom, Grace Sibbert, Catherine Singleton,

Joan Spavin, Alice Standing, Lily Stanley, Miss Stretton, F Swan, Irene Swift

Miss Tattersall, Hilda Taylor, Joan Tench, Miss Tetlock, M Thomas, Nancy Thomson,

Margaret Thornborough, Alice Thornley, Elsie Tierney, L Tipping, Bella Traynor, Mdlle Trotman

Dorothy Wainwright, A Walker, Molly Walker, Alice Walmsley, Jessie Walmsley, Val Walsh, Miss Waring,
Anne Webb, Annie Welch, Dorothy Whalley, Joan Whalley, N Whewell, Sheila Whiteoak,

Alice Woods, Rita Woods, Edith Worrall, Lottie Worrall, Mary Worswick, Frances Wright

Preston women's football pioneer and Dick, Kerr Ladies legend honoured with life-size statue

As the England Lionesses prepare for this summer’s FIFA Women's World Cup, the UK’s first ever statue of a female footballer has been unveiled today (June 3) at the National Football Museum in Manchester.

Dick, Kerr Ladies football legend Lily Parr has been honoured with a life-size statue at the National Football Museum in Manchester today (Monday, June 3)

Women's football pioneer Lily Parr, born in 1905, came to prominence as part of Preston's legendary Dick, Kerr Ladies FC in the 1920s.

Starting her career at Dick, Kerr Ladies FC nearly 100 years ago, at the age of 14, Lily moved to the left wing in 1921 and netted an impressive 108 goals in her first year as a forward.

The peerless Lily Parr would go on to score over 980 goals in 833 games in her remarkable 32-year career.

The prolific goalscorer was reputed to possess one of the most powerful shots in football, and had the ability to score wonder goals from extraordinary angles with her famously gifted left foot.

Dick, Kerr Ladies FC photographed prior to their first game on December 25, 1917. 'Photo courtesy of Gail Newsham

The Dick, Kerr Ladies forward is the first female footballer in Britain to be honoured with a statue at the National Football Museum.

Unveiled by Lily’s cousin, June Patten, the striking statue will now take pride of place on the first floor of the National Football Museum.

Now immortalised in bronze, the Lancashire legend stands tall and proud in the company of other footballing trailblazers in the Players Zone on the Match Gallery floor.

The zone explores the footballing heroes who overcame nearly insurmountable challenges and prejudices to realise their dream of playing football.

A young football fan and his mum admire the life-size statue of Dick, Kerr Ladies legend Lily Parr at the National Football Museum in Manchester today (Monday, June 3)

The life-size statute has been created by sculptor Hannah Stewart and commissioned by Mars, official supporter of the England Women’s Team.

Gemma Buggins, Mars Brand director, said she hoped the statue will inspire the England Lionesses to achieve their dreams of lifting the World Cup next month.

"Lily Parr was the heroine of her time in the sporting world and it is such an honour to be able to recognise her", said Ms Buggins.

“This is why we are delighted to unveil the UK’s first ever female footballer statue of the amazing Lily Parr.

"At Mars, we’re passionate about recognising female role models and, as our current generation of Lionesses head off to this summer’s tournament, we thought that it was about time that we shone a spotlight on Lily as a trailblazer for today’s team.

“We hope this statue and our #SupportHer campaign inspires other women to follow their dreams as we get ready to enjoy an exciting summer of women’s football!”

Faye White, Lioness legend, added: “This is a momentous moment and Lily thoroughly deserves this honour. As a female footballer, it’s inspiring to see the progress we’re making in celebrating women in sport.

"Women’s football has come a long way since it first began and I’m looking forward to cheering on the England Lionesses this summer alongside the nation.”

The bronze statue, created by sculptor Hannah Stewart, has been commissioned by FA sponsors Mars as part of their #SupportHer campaign, and was officially revealed at the museum today (Monday, June 3).

The statue unveiling kicks off a month of dedicated Women’s World Cup programmes at the museum to coincide with this summer's FIFA Women's World Cup.

How Lily Parr became a football legend

A teenage Lily Parr first turned out for Preston's Dick, Kerr munitions factory team in 1919, earning her place in the team as a fleet-footed fullback.

But Parr's exceptional talent for finding the back of the net with her blistering speed and powerful left foot soon saw her pushed up front.

It didn't take long for Lily to adapt to her new position. In a glorious 32-year career, Lily would go on to score an astonishing 980 goals.

She was part of a Dick, Kerr side which drew thousands of spectators in Preston and across the country during, and after, the First World War.

Lily's steely determination to be the best footballer in the world saw her spend hour after hour perfecting her powerful shooting technique.

She even featured in the team's tours of France (1920) and the USA (1922), and played in front of a record Boxing Day crowd of 53,000 screaming fans at Goodison Park in Liverpool in 1920.

Over 90 minutes before a raucous Liverpool crowd, a swift-footed Lily helped Preston's Dick, Kerr Ladies secure a famous win over her former home-town team of St Helen’s Ladies.

Lily would go on to play for Preston Ladies, retiring at the age of 46. Such was her record and reputation, she became the first female player to be inducted into the National Football Museum Hall of Fame in 2002.

Top 10 facts about football legend Lily Parr

1. Lillian 'Lily' Parr was born in St. Helens in 1905 and died in Goosnargh, near Preston, on May 22, 1978 at the age of 73.

2. Lily began her career at St. Helens Ladies in 1919, before moving to Dick, Kerr Ladies FC in 1920, following a recommendation from teammate Alice Woods.

3. Parr began her career with Dick, Kerr Ladies aged just 14-years-old, as a full back, before moving to the left wing in 1921.

4. Lily scored 108 goals in her first year as a left winger, coming second only to centre forward Florrie Redford who scored 170.

5. Parr scored a record-breaking 986 goals during her career with the Dick, Kerr Ladies.

6. She was billed as possessing one of the most powerful shots in the history of the game, an outside-left of immense skill and power. Programme notes from the 1920s describe Parr as “big, fast and powerful, is tricky and can take corner kicks better than most men”.

7. Parr and the Dick, Kerr Ladies team toured in the USA in 1922 where they played against men’s teams.

8. During the USA tour, four members of the Dick, Kerr team Lily Parr, Florrie Haslam, Jennie Harris and Molly Walker, ran a relay race with the American Women’s Olympic team. They led all the way and were first past the winning post, beating the Olympic athletes!

9. Alongside her illustrious football career, Parr trained as a nurse and worked in Whittingham Mental Hospital until she retired.

11. In 2002, Parr became the first woman to be inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame at the National Football Museum.

‘Best is yet to come’

Haslam said he always knew the time would come for him to pass the baton to someone else, and he’s happy to leave the organization in a strong position.

On top of “changing the game of progressive politics,” Morris credits Haslam with “bringing in and centering the voices of those most marginalized, including women of color in major leadership positions.”

“He’s really built an incredibly influential organization that, again, has the eyes and ears of our elected leaders from the local level all the way up to the national level,” Morris said. “And that is no small feat to do in six years.”

Haslam isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. He wants his Rights & Democracy role to change “from executive director to cheerleader and supporter,” and he’s keeping an eye on the national progressive movement as a potential landing spot in the future.

For now, Haslam is staying put in Essex with his elementary-school-age children. He plans to stay with Rights & Democracy through the winter to aid in the transition and hopes to hire a new executive director by this fall.

“We have an incredible staff team. We have a lot of stuff heading in the right direction, and that’s exactly the time when it’s good to have a leadership change,” Haslam said. “I do think the best is yet to come for RAD.”

Correction: An earlier version of this story used incorrect pronouns for Councilor Perri Freeman.

Missing out on the latest scoop? Sign up here to get a weekly email with all of VTDigger's reporting on politics. And in case you can't get enough of the Statehouse, sign up for Final Reading for a rundown on the day's news in the Legislature.


Watch the video: The Lathums - All My Life (January 2022).