Lily Parr to become first female player honoured with statue

Photograph: © Solent

Dick, Kerr Ladies forward Lily Parr has become the first female footballer on these shores to be honoured with a statue at the National Football Museum.

Turning out for the Dick, Kerr munitions factory team in Preston, Parr netted an astonishing 980 goals across a glorious 32-year career. She was part of a side which drew thousands of spectators during, and after, the First World War, featuring in DKL’s 1920 tour of France and playing in front of a record crowd on Boxing Day that same year, helping Dick, Kerr defeat St Helen’s Ladies in front of 53,000 fans at Goodison Park.

Lily would go on to play for Preston Ladies, retiring at the age of 46. Such was her record and reputation, she became the first female player to be inducted into the National Football Museum Hall of Fame in 2002.

The bronze statue, created by sculptor Hannah Stewart, has been commissioned by FA sponsors Mars as part of their #SupportHer campaign, and was officially revealed at the museum on Monday 3 June.

Tim Desmond, Chief Executive of the National Football Museum, said: “As the first female inductee into our Hall of Fame, we’ve been familiar with Lily Parr’s story for many years. We’re of course delighted to have been given the opportunity to display her statue at the museum to coincide with the launch of the Women’s World Cup and our strategy to rebalance our collection and increase representation of women in football to 50%.”

The statue unveiling kicks off a month of dedicated Women’s World Cup programmes at the museum. Throughout the tournament, visitors can follow our dedicated Women’s World Cup trail, discovering new objects and stories on our galleries.

Every weekend, the Pitch Gallery will be hosting activities championing the women’s game, including Stan Chow craft mornings, Panini sticker swap sessions, insightful WWC talks and, prior to the final, a live VR experience with artist Rosie Summers.

Click here to see the full Women’s World Cup fixture list.