During the First World War, women’s football became a popular spectator sport, drawing thousands of fans – sometimes tens of thousands – for charity matches and exhibitions. Teams such as the Dick, Kerr Ladies became famous for their swashbuckling style – but not everyone delighted in the exploits of women in the game.

In December 1921, the following passage appeared in an FA minute book:

“Complaints have been made as to football being played by women, the Council feel impelled to express their strong opinion that the game of football is quite unsuitable for females and ought not to be encouraged.

“Complaints have also been made as to the conditions under which some of these matches have been arranged and played, and the appropriation of the receipts to other than Charitable objects.

“The Council are further of opinion that an excessive proportion of the receipts are absorbed in expenses and an inadequate percentage devoted to Charitable objects.

“For those reasons the Council request the Clubs belonging to the Association to refuse the use of their grounds for such matches.”

These four sentences effectively banned women’s football matches from taking place on Football Association member pitches, significantly damaging the women’s game. This ban was not lifted for another five decades.