Dick, Kerr Ladies football team (Football)

Formed in 1917. The team formed at the munitions works in Preston, Dick, Kerr & Co Ltd, and played their first game at Preston North End’s Deepdale ground against Coulthards Foundry. Following the team’s success, by 1921 they were incredibly popular and were booked to play an average of two games a week all over the British Isles. This was even more impressive due to the team still working full time in the factory.

Hard times fell on the team when the FA claimed they had received complaints about women playing football, despite the team having been watched by almost 900,000 people in the year of 1921. Some suggested that football was dangerous for females to play and that is could affect their fertility. These complaints led the FA to ban girls from using league grounds on 5 December 1921. Despite this, the Dick, Kerr Ladies continued to play over 800 games in the UK and abroad, raising over £180,000 for charity (a figure that would be excess £10 million today).

The team continued to play football against all the odds, playing throughout the 1920s and 1930s, even playing a series of matches in the USA. After claiming to be World Champions, the team were challenged by the Edinburgh Ladies. The Dick, Kerr Ladies accepted this challenge and won the match 5-1. After being put on hold during WWII, the team was back together and resumed playing. They played on through many challenges up until 1965 when they were forced to disband due to a lack of players.

The Dick, Kerr Ladies were reunited for the first time since they disbanded, at The Lancashire Trophy in 1992. The team’s famous name began to capture the public again and the following years saw them receive long overdue recognition. Altogether the team played 833 games, winning 759, drawing 46, and only losing 28.

(Ref: Visit Preston)