A celebration of the history of the game
As the World Cup approaches, women’s football in Britain has a higher profile than ever. The sport is developing dramatically, with the FA's Gameplan for Growth aiming to double girls’ and women’s participation and its fan base, supported by significant new sponsorship.
But its history in this country hasn’t always been easy. Despite drawing huge crowds 100 years ago, women footballers faced an extraordinary ban from playing at professional grounds from 1921 until 1971.
At this special discussion of its past, present and future, broadcaster and writer Clare Balding is joined by leading lights from the game; Kelly Smith, one of English Football’s biggest stars, Sue Campbell, FA Director of Women’s Football and Patricia Gregory co-founder of the Women's Football Association in 1969.
At this special discussion of its past, present and future, broadcaster and writer Clare Balding is joined by leading lights from the game including Sue Campbell, FA Director of Women’s Football and Patricia Gregory co-founder of the Women's Football Association in 1969. Further guests to be announced.
Clare Balding is one of Britain's leading broadcasters. Winner of the BAFTA Special Award and RTS Presenter of the Year Award for her expert coverage of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, she is also a best-selling and award-winning author of five books and an ardent campaigner for better coverage of women’s sport.
Baroness Sue Campbell is Director of Women’s Football at the FA, which she joined following eight years as Chair of UK Sport and a long career in sports development in Britain.
Patricia Gregory became a campaigner for women’s football in Britain in the 1960’s. In 1969, together with Arthur Hobbs, who became the first honorary secretary, she organised a first meeting of the Women's Football Association – which remained the governing body of the sport until full incorporation with the FA in 1993.
Kelly Smith Arsenal and England striker, scored 46 goals for her country and became England's first female professional footballer when she joined American side New Jersey in 1999. She earned 117 England caps, played in six major tournaments, scoring a goal in the final of Euro 2009, and represented Team GB at the 2012 London Olympics. Smith also won five FA Cups with Arsenal, scoring six goals in those five finals. She retired in 2017.
Presented with the kind support of the Football Association.
The event will be preceded at 17.30 by a free screening of Clare Balding’s TV documentary When Football Banned Women (separate booking required)
Visit the British Library’s accompanying exhibition An Unsuitable Game for Ladies: A Century of Women's Football (opening 14 May) which explore the history of women’s football over the last century through unique archive material. (Treasures Gallery, Free Entry, No Booking Required)
|Name:||Womens Football in Britain with Clare Balding and guests|
The British Library
96 Euston Road
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Full Price: £15.00
Senior 60+: £12.00
Registered Unemployed: £10.00
Under 18: £10.00
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