UCLan to host very first women’s national walking football tournament

The very first women’s national walking football tournament is set to take place in Preston, Lancashire on Sunday 2nd July 2017 to commemorate 100 years of the Dick, Kerr Ladies.

In the history of women’s football, The Dick, Kerr Ladies are the most successful team in the world. They were formed at the Dick, Kerr & Co Ltd munitions factory in Preston, Lancashire during the First World War.  These very ordinary factory girls from Preston quite literally took the country by storm.

On Christmas Day 1917, 10,000 spectators came to Deepdale, the home of Preston North End Football Club, to witness the start of the most phenomenal success story in the history of women’s sport. Dick, Kerr Ladies notched up the first of many famous victories whilst raising £600 for wounded soldiers.

On Boxing Day 1920, 53,000 spectators packed into Goodison Park, Everton, to see the Dick, Kerr Ladies take on St Helens Ladies, with another 14,000 people locked out and unable to gain admission to the ground. Another victory was recorded for the Dick, Kerr team and an incredible amount of £3,115 was raised for charity.

During the War the Government appointed women welfare supervisors and sent them into the factories to oversee the physical well-being of the factory girls and encourage the development of sporting activities. Among those activities was football, and football became the official sport of the munitions girls. Almost every factory across the United Kingdom involved in war work, had a ladies football team.

Incredibly, in 1921 the FA banned womens football, setting back the development of the womens game for decades. However, the Dick, Kerr ladies continued to play football around the world until 1965 leaving behind a glittering legacy.

For more on the story of the Dick, Kerr Ladies visit www.dickkerrladies.com

The first national women’s walking football competition will be held in Preston on 2nd July 2017 to commemorate 100 years of the Dick, Kerr Ladies. The competition details are as follows:

  • Teams of 6-A-Side Women (squad of up to 9 women players with flexi-substitutions)
  • Two age groups – Over 40’s and Over 50’s
  • Over 50’s Teams must consist of over 50’s Women (with two women players under 50 permitted, but with only one under 50 on the pitch at any time)
  • Over 40’s Teams must consist of over 40’s Women (with two women players under 40 permitted, but with only one under 40 on the pitch at any time)
  • National Tournament Official Rules and more information at www.walkingfootballunited.co.uk
  • Entry fee £30 per team
  • Closing date for entries 30th April 2017.
  • Tournament will be held on the 2nd July 2017 between 10am and 4pm at the University of Central Lancashire – UCLan Sports Arena, Tom Benson Way, Preston, Lancashire PR2 1SG
  • To celebrate 100 years of the Dick, Kerr Ladies and to promote women’s football, there will be a pre-tournament dinner (sponsored by The FA) on the evening of Saturday 1st July 2017 at Preston North End (7pm – 12:30am). Tickets are £35 per person including a 3-course meal.

The tournament and dinner are organised by volunteers, all profits raised will go towards the Dick, Kerr Ladies fund, raising money for a permanent memorial to these wonderful and inspirational women. For more details contact: Gail Newsham at mail@dickkerrladies.com

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