The story of the early Lionesses is one of resilience, determination, and pioneering spirit. Long before the Lionesses became a household name, a group of trailblazing women laid the foundation for the women’s national team, defying societal norms and challenging the status quo in pursuit of their passion for football.

Following the First World War, women’s football experienced a brief period of popularity before facing opposition from traditionalists and football authorities. In 1921, The FA imposed a ban on women’s football, citing concerns about the impact of the game on women’s health and morality.

Despite this setback, the spirit of the early England Lionesses endured. In 1972, the Lionesses played their first official international match against Scotland, marking a historic moment in the development of women’s football in both countries.

The game took place in wintry conditions at Ravenscraig Stadium in Greenock, Scotland. The hosts led at half time courtesy of goals from Mary Carr and wonderkid Rose Reilly, but Eric Worthington’s side hit back through Sylvia Gore – the Lionesses’ first official goalscorer – and Lynda Hale, before Jeannie Allott closed out the comeback with a goal of her own.