Sky Blues Trust supports a unique football event in Coventry

Bank Holiday Monday 25th August


No Game For Girls posterMany of us associate the beginnings of ladies football in the city with Jimmy Hill in the 1960s, but Sky Blues Trust founder member and club historian, Lionel Bird has been working on a heritage project with Eyefull Productions and they have discovered women’s teams were playing in the city as far back as 1895. Ladies teams became very active during WW1, when women worked in the munitions factories in Coventry

The city’s famous names like Daimler, Rudge-Whitworth, Humber, Coventry Ordnance & White and Poppe’s, all had women’s football teams. The teams played to huge crowds and raised incredible amounts of money for injured soldiers and their families.

As ideas were being developed with Eyefull Productions, Lionel had the idea to stage a ‘recreation’ match.  And as a result, a very special one off event to bring these footballing pioneers to light is taking place on Bank holiday Monday 25th August at the Butts Arena, Coventry.

Coventry City Ladies FC will dress up in WW1 style kits as the ‘Rudge-Whitworth’ and ‘Humber Ladies’ – and will recreate a football match from 1917. The very special match event is for the whole family whether you’re football fans or history fans. There’ll be kids entertainment, vintage stalls, hog roast and even a vintage ice cream van.

Gates open at 12pm with the match kicking off at 2pm

As well as having the support of The Sky Blues Trust, this unique project about Coventry’s footballing history is also supported by Coventry Former Players Association, and Coventry City Ladies FC.

For a direct link for tickets on the 25th August go to 

www.facebook/nogameforgirls or

Adult early bird tickets £3.50 / £5.00 after 8th August

Children 12 years and under go free!

Tickets will be available on the day, but organisers recommend booking.

The 1917 match was actually played at the then Butts Ground, so Coventry will go back in time for one day.The No Game For Girls project manager, Fran Porter said, “We’re finding out so much about women’s football in Coventry. The city was one of a few cities during WW1 where women’s football became really big, which comes as no surprise really given Coventry’s passion for the game. We think the match at the Butts is a real chance to remember the women from 1917, and have a really unique day out’.

Lionel said: ‘This is a recreation of an actual 1917 match – which was the final in an ‘eight team tournament’, the first ever recorded competition between the munitionette teams, the women who worked in the munitions factories. This match will remember them. Not only their contribution to the war effort, but the achievements on the pitches of Coventry too’.

Women’s football became hugely popular, during and after WW1. So much so that two of the country’s most famous teams – Dick, Kerr’s Ladies and St. Helens played a match in 1921 at Coventry’s Highfield Road to a crowd of over 27,000 people! 

Unfortunately, the FA didn’t like the success the ladies were having and in 1921, they declared that football was indeed “no game for girls’ and they banned ladies teams from playing on their pitches. Effectively stopping the progress of women in football for the next 50 years.

After the match on the 25th, the project will go on to produce a documentary and touring exhibition about WW1 women’s football in Coventry. Lionel will be working with the team from Eyefull Productions to uncover and tell the stories of the women, the men who supported the teams to establish and and life in the factories during the war years.

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