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‘the referee was generous enough to limit the ordeal’: Women’s football in Scotland, 1914-1939
Football for women has a long history in Scotland. The earliest records of women playing football can be traced back to 1628.

The roots of the modern women’s game can be traced back to the 1880s and 1890s, when early matches were played in Glasgow and Edinburgh. By the outbreak of the First World War the women’s game had become established in England, particularly in the north.

Much has been written about these developments. Best known amongst the teams of the north were the Dick Kerr’s Ladies, whose skill and popularity saw them become internationally recognized during the period. The game was also growing in popularity in Scotland, with the emergence of teams such as Rutherglen Ladies F.C, strongest amongst a range of other teams across Scotland.

However little has been written about these pioneering women. This is partly because there were very few records left by these teams and newspaper coverage of women’s sport generally, and football specifically, is sparse for this time.

Nonetheless it is often in local and specialist papers we are able to catch glimpses of the women’s game. As a result, this talk will be drawing on reports and photographs from local newspapers to trace the developments from the outbreak of World War One in 1914 to the outbreak of World War Two in 1939.

May 4, 2022 06:30 PM in London

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Speakers

Dr Fiona Skillen
Senior lecturer in history @Glasgow Caledonian University
Dr Fiona Skillen is a senior lecturer in History in the Department of Social Sciences, in the School for Business and Society at Glasgow Caledonian University. Her research interests concern modern history, in particular aspects of sport, gender and popular culture. She is particularly interested in women’s sport during the late 19th and 20th centuries and has published extensively in this area. She regularly contributes to radio and television programmes on the history of sport, including the award-winning Radio 4 series Sport and the British and as a regular guest on STV’s People’s History Show series. She is a former Chair of British Society of Sport History, a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and an editor of the International Journal of the History of Sport.