Women’s UK Football

Unfortunately many people think that women’s football, in the UK and elsewhere, is a modern phenomenon, but the truth of that matter is that women’s football has been around since the game of football was codified in England in the late 1800s or early 1900s, depending on the rules of which organisation one adheres to. In fact, in the early 20th century women’s football in the UK was extremely popular and rivalled men’s leagues, but in suffered greatly in it’s popularity for much of the 20th century and didn’t find its feet again properly until the 1990s.
Football—both men’s and women’s—has been around in some form or another since the mediaeval time, although the games collectively called football back then weren’t codified in the way they are today. Let a great many number of sports throughout history, it was mostly the purview of men, but there is some documented evidence of women also playing the sport back in the times of Queen Mary of Scotts. By some quirk of culture, it seems that by the time the number of spectators began overtaking the number of player in the late 1800s, women’s football was more popular in Scotland than it was in England or Wales.
Although women’s football is very popular now—and a glance at websites with free NFL picks can corroborate exactly how popular the sport is and how much money people are willing to bet on the outcome of a match—and was very popular at the time of footballs formalised inception, the entire sport itself nearly disappeared off the proverbial radar of sports lovers for the majority of the 20th century.
One might say that the peak of popularity of women’s football in the UK was during the First World War when a great many matches were held for the benefit of charities and to raise funds for the war. It was also true at that time that most of the male athletes were in fact conscripted and fighting in France or elsewhere overseas. Rumours surfaced after the war about corruption amongst these benefit matches and although it most likely had more to do with a perceived threat to the male dominance—this was, after all, the time of suffragette movements—the main football association in the UK at the time banned and official women’s football organisation in 1921.
In the wake of England’s World Cup success in 1966 there was a revitalised passion for football all across the UK, including amongst women and in 1969 the decision to ban women from playing football officially was repealed.
Women’s football however still lingered on the sidelines until in the early 1990s it was made into the Women’s Premier League and finally had the same attention as that as men’s football and its popularity has been soaring ever since.