Next Monday, on August 25th 2014 (kick off 2pm) Coventry City Ladies will re-enact a women’s WW1 football match between two factory teams at the Butts in 1917. The contemporary Coventry Ladies club who have built up good links with CCFPA had a wonderful 2013-14 season (topping their League) and seem set fair to do well again this coming season but as we show below they weren’t the first manifestation of a desire by women in Coventry to play ‘the beautiful game’.
We expect a number of CCFC former players and members of the CCFPA committee to be in attendance for the event including (subject to confirmation) Sky Blue F.A.Cup stars Dave Bennett, Micky Gynn and Cyrille Regis, and sixties CCFC stalwarts Dietmar Bruck and Bill Tedds. Coventry City Council leader Anne Lucas and ‘Mr Coventry’ CCFPA’s Life president Joe Elliott are booked to lead out the teams and kick off each half and it is hoped that the Mayor, Councillor Hazel Noonan will present the cup and the medals to the winning team.
It is an important part of an ongoing project, with Heritage Lottery funding, exploring the early days of women’s football in Coventry which was an important centre for the ladies Game. An exhibition and other events are also planned. The project and the game are supported by CCFPA. During World War One, with so many men at the front, Coventry women took their places in the munitions factories of the City. The 1914-18 years gave the women’s game a fillip as many ladies took up football with enthusiasm and entered teams in inter factory competition. The Coventry Ladies Cup Final of September 1917 between Humber Ladies and Rudge-Whitworth Ladies will be replayed in the costumes and conditions of the time – and once more at the Butts. Some of Coventry Ladies are shown in their period gear below (so smart that ‘selfies’ were called for!).
After WW1 women’s football built up tremendous popularity throughout Britain with five figure crowds and well supported women’s internationals often in aid of charity. As far as we can establish Coventry Ladies (below) was founded in spring 1921 and we need to be reminded that later in the year well over 20000 paying customers turned out at Highfield Road to see Coventry Ladies take on the top women’s team of the period from the Dick, Kerr factory from Preston. The women’s game went into decline when the F.A. shamefully denied women’s teams access to the professional football grounds of the day in December 1921.
The Association encourages all it’s readers to support what should be a memorable day. Come dressed for 1917 or 2014 but do come and sample an important reminder of the heritage of football in Coventry. More information can be found via facebook.com/NoGameForGirls Tickets priced £5 adults (under 12s free) can be obtained online by clicking here.