From the publisher:
A complete history of women's football, from its Victorian games beginning in 1881, to the plans for England to host the Euro Finals in England 2022, this book demonstrates how women's football began as a professional sport, and has only recently returned to these professional roots in the UK. This is because there was a fifty-year Football Association 'ban' on women playing on pitches affiliated to the governing body in England. The other British associations followed suit.
Why was women's football banned in 1921? Why did it take until 1969 for a Women's Football Association to form? Why did it take until 1995 for England to qualify for a Women's World Cup? Answers to these key questions are supplemented across the chapters by personal accounts of the players who defied the ban, at home and abroad, along with the personal costs, and rewards, of being footballing pioneers.
Professor Jean Williams is the leading academic author on women's football in the world, having written books funded by FIFA, and UEFA as well as books based on the British, such as A Game For Rough Girls (2003). Jean has been a consultant to The FIFA Museum in Zurich, The National Football Museum, Manchester and the FA at St George's Park and Wembley. An average, but enthusiastic football player, Jean was more likely to win her club's 'Most Improved Player' than national distinction. Having reunited England players from official and unofficial England national teams, including several reunions at National Football Museum, Jean has access to many, diverse interviewees, memorabilia and images to tell this story. The eldest player she is currently in contact with, Alice Elliott, began playing for Manchester Corinthians in 1949, aged fourteen. Leah Caleb was only thirteen when she travelled to Mexico in 1971 to play in an unofficial Women's World Cup. Mary Phillip became the first black woman to captain England in 2003\. It is these, and other stories, that Jean believes will bring the book alive.