Yesterday (Monday, on August 25th 2014) CCFPA were pleased to help sponsor the historic re-enactment at the Butts Arena by Coventry City Ladies and other local women footballers of a ladies WW1 football match between two factory teams (which had taken place at the Butts in 1917). There was considerable media coverage and readers may have seen coverage of the game on local TV news. Unfortunately the exceedingly wet bank holiday weather affected the attendance somewhat but those that were there including a number of CCFC former players and CCFPA committee members enjoyed a great event.
Sky Blues F.A.Cup star Dave Bennett, key eighties defender Kirk Stephens and sixties CCFC stalwarts Dietmar Bruck and Bill Tedds were at the Butts together with CCFPA committee men Mike Young and Dean Nelson. Mike and CCFPA Associate member Lionel Bird had done much to underpin the historical research for the event and Lionel also appeared resplendent in historical costume to match the players, officials and other attendees. Coventry City Council leader Anne Lucas and ‘Mr Coventry’ CCFPA’s Life president Joe Elliott led out the teams and kicked off each half and CCFPA vice chair Billy Bell, dressed in somewhat dubious vintage clothing, acted as m/c for the day.
The game itself was fought out with skill and stamina between the two teams in period gear representing the finalists in the Coventry Ladies Cup Final of September 1917. In a repeat of the original result the ‘Humber Ladies’ team again ran out winners besting the ‘Rudge-Whitworth’ Ladies, this time by 7 goals to 2. The game is just one part 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 with a touring exhibition and other events to follow.
Look out on this site for action photographs and personalities present on the day in due course. Thanks to Fran Porter and her colleagues at Mad Dog Media/Eyefull Productions for organising such an interesting and enjoyable event focussing on the economic and sporting role the women of Coventry played in 1914-18.