National Football Museum to host exhibition celebrating history of women’s football

  • Exhibition will help kick off summer-long celebration of the women’s game as Manchester prepares to host UEFA Women’s Euro 2022
  • Manchester one of nine host cities taking part in lottery-funded project

Manchester’s National Football Museum is celebrating the history of the women’s game by tracing the roots of the sport from the early 19th century through to the 21st.

The exhibition is funded by a £500,000 grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund in partnership with the Football Association.

Funding will go towards The Football Heritage Collection which will see 10 volunteers go out into local communities to speak with individuals and gather stories and oral histories on the women’s game.

The collected objects, oral histories and stories will be showcased to the public on the National Football Museum website.

Councillor Luthfur Rahman OBE, deputy leader of Manchester city council said: “We’re excited and proud to be playing our part in supporting the UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 Tournament.

“The work we’re doing with the National Football Museum to open up and reveal more of the history of women’s football will ensure that this fascinating, surprising, and currently little-known about heritage of the game is opened up to a wider audience, and recorded for future generations to explore, learn from, and be inspired by.”

Manchester has played an important role in the history and development of the women’s game

Belinda Scarlett, women’s football curator at the National Football Museum said: “From the Manchester Corinthians’ ground-breaking international tours in the 1950s, to being home to two WSL teams and grassroots teams like Manchester Laces, Manchester has played an important role in the history and development of the women’s game.

“The National Football Museum has been improving its representation of women’s football across its collections and exhibitions over the past few years culminating in our exhibition to celebrate the UEFA Women’s Euros 2022.”

Baroness Sue Campbell, UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 board member and director of women’s football, The FA, added: “Together we will bring to the fore the incredible stories of the pioneers of women’s football who have helped shape the women’s game we have today.

“The programme will also capture and tell, for generations to come, the profiles and stories of current and future England players, ensuring fans are better informed than ever before.”

Manchester is a focal point of the women’s football community, with both Manchester United and Manchester City sitting in the top five of the Women’s Super League.

The council hopes that the exhibition will future-proof the long tradition of football in the North West, dating back to the First World War with teams such as the prominent Dick, Kerr Ladies FC.