A plaque to commemorate the legacy of the Dick, Kerr Ladies has been unveiled in Ashton Park in Preston.
The Dick, Kerr Ladies were a pioneering side in women’s football in the 20th century and continued to be such even after the FA ban on women’s football in league grounds was introduced in December 1921.
Following the ban – which prevented women’s teams from playing on football league grounds for almost 50 years, with the ban staying in place until 1971 – the Dick, Kerr Ladies continued to compete, playing their first match 100 years ago today [Sunday] on Ashton Park, on Boxing Day 1921.
Dick, Kerr Ladies Historian Gail Newsham, Mayor of Preston Javed Iqbal unveiled the plaque at an official presentation earlier this month.
Upon its unveiling, Gail Newsham said: “It’s a wonderful thing to be stood here 100 years since the Dick, Kerr Ladies played here in the first match after the ban.
“It’s amazing to me because this was my playground when I was a kid without realising the Dick, Kerr Ladies had played there as well. I’m so proud and hope that this is the start of Preston and Ashton Park getting more heritage around the Dick, Kerr Ladies.”
Also speaking at the unveiling, Mayor of Preston Javed Iqbal added: “The Dick, Kerr Ladies have been a forgotten jewel in Preston’s crown.
“No other town in the country or the world has this unique history. At last, the people of Preston are beginning to appreciate their incredible story.
“Against all the odds, they continued playing football and raising money for charity, until 1965. During this time, they raised somewhere in the region of £180,000 for charity, which today would have been worth in excess of £10 million.”
The plaque can be found on the walkway in the park close to Ashton Health Centre, off Pedders Lane, showcasing the Dick, Kerr Ladies with a brief summary of their history.
Gail Newsham has recently published a new book about the Dick, Kerr Ladies, which you can read more about by clicking here.