When was the first recorded womens British football game played?

We all believe that womens football started to become popular in Britain with ladies in the lead up to the London Olympics in 2012.

Well, think again! Women’s football history dates back towards the end of the 19th century in Scotland.

In 1881, an International womens football match was played in Edinburgh where Scotland beat England 3-0. However, when another game was played in Glasgow, a huge riot broke out and subsequently women were banned from playing football.

Following the ban, Helen Graham Matthews moved to England and set up the “Lady Footballers”. But then in 1894, the medical professionals in the UK called for girls and women to stop playing football due to the physical damage they were doing to their bodies.

But the following year Nettie Honeyball founded the British Ladies Football Club and the sport grew in popularity throughout the first World War.

Again though in 1921, the Football Association (FA) barred all ladies teams playing on FA grounds, so that the difficulties of organising training and matches made it impossible to continue to playing and therefore the sport petered out.

Roll on a few years and following on from England’s 1966 World Cup victory, women’s football began to re-ermerge. In 1969 the Women’s Football Association was founded but it took two further years for an order from UEFA to force the FA to remove the restrictions against women playing on their grounds.

Since 1971 the number of women football players and teams keeps increasing and now is at a record high of 2.89 female footballers.