Sports history

The conspiracy against women’s football

The moment before the fall of women’s football can be precisely dated. On Boxing Day 1920, Dick, Kerr Ladies FC beat St Helens 4-0 at Everton’s Goodison Park in front of 53,000 paying spectators, a sellout crowd. That was too much for the men at the Football Association. Hysterical at the sight of women running about as they liked and scared of competition from the female game, they banned it a year later. ‘The game of football is quite unsuitable for females,’ its ruling explained. From then on, the FA barred men’s clubs from letting women use their fields. Female players were condemned to jumpers for goalposts in parks. In