Revealing the hidden history of women’s football

Revealing the hidden history of women’s football

Women's football team face the camera in two rows - one standing behind, one kneeling in front.
As England prepares to host the UEFA Women’s EUROs this summer, a National Lottery funded project will tell the stories of the country's female pioneers of the game.

Page last updated: 10 June 2022.

The National Lottery Heritage Fund has awarded £500,000 to the ‘UEFA Women's EURO 2022 ­­– Women's Football Heritage’ project, led by Rotherham Council and Milton Keynes Council in partnership with the Football Association (FA).

Unheard voices

For the first time, information about every England player, captain, goal scorer and match score since 1972 will be researched and recorded. It will be shared alongside the information that already exists about men’s football.

Hosted on the FA’s England Football website, the record will continue to be updated, ensuring future female players in England are part of the wider footballing story. The project will particularly explore the role of the LGBTQ+ community in women’s football.

We’re delighted to support this project, which will give fans and players the chance to celebrate the history of women’s football and communities the chance to discover their connections to the game.

- Eilish McGuinness, CEO of The National Lottery Heritage Fund

In a year which also marks 141 years since the women’s England team first played competitively, the project will challenge the perception of football being ‘new’ for women and improve how the sport is understood. 

Women's football team stand in two rows, posing for camera photo
Dick, Kerr Ladies, formed in Preston, 1917. Copyright: National Football Museum

Summer of celebration

An exciting summer of celebrations, exhibitions, memory films, oral histories and community activities is being held across the nine UEFA Women’s EURO host cities: Brighton & Hove, London, Manchester, Milton Keynes, Rotherham, Sheffield, Southampton, Trafford and Wigan & Leigh.

Venues include Brighton Museum, Sheffield Winter Gardens, National Football Museum and Wembley Park. The stories and objects will shine a light on the experiences of women footballers that have never been told.

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