Our project to unlock the hidden history of women’s football is not just about uncovering objects from within our collection, it’s also about hearing stories from people who have been involved with the game. Receiving responses to our blog posts makes us as excited as unwrapping an early 20th century medal and so when former Corinthian Ladies player, Kath Davies got in touch after reading our blog post about team scrapbooks, we jumped at the chance to see her photos and programmes.
Kath explained what it was like to play for one of the best women’s teams of the 1960s, even touching on an international tournament the team were part of in Morocco!
‘Basically we were a large group of ladies age ranging from about 13- 40yrs who practised at Fog Lane Park in Didsbury every Sunday in all weathers – with a leather ball and toe knob boots!!’
‘I joined when I was thirteen and lasted a couple of years and then had to give up due to knee trouble. Mr Ashley our manager who was in his seventies used to arrange charity matches for us about once a month or so. As there were not a lot of ladies teams to play against in those days, Mr Ashley used to select two teams of equal calibre to play against each other for the charity matches, ie The Corinthians and The Nomads/Allstars.
‘He used to arrange for a celebrity to kick off to draw in the crowds – Jerry Booth, Elsie Tanner and Alan Rothwell were just a few. The teams we did play against were Foden Ladies, The Coventry Canaries, Scotland Ladies and probably a few more of which I can’t remember.
‘On the photo of the team I am on the back row and the third player from the left standing next to the girl with the ball. Our Manager is there with us.
‘We did a three week tour of Morocco sailing from Gibraltar to Tangiers and visiting – from memory – Casablanca, Fes, Marrakech Oujah and Rabat. We played in a flood lit stadium in Casablanca with a crowd of 22000!’
A crowd of that size was remarkable for the period and must have been quite an experience for Kath and the Corinthian Ladies!
Thanks to stories like Kath’s, we are able to understand more about the people involved in the history of women’s football and add a personal layer to our collection. If you have played women’s football, been involved with the running of a team or even been to a memorable match, please do get in touch via our contact page.