Help uncover Sheffield women’s football story

A group of Sheffield women’s football fans have a goal of writing about the history of the game in the city – and they are seeking your memories.

Monday, 10th February 2020, 5:45 pm

The group call themselves Stoppage Time because the Football Association banned the women’s game in 1921.

The FA banished women’s team from its grounds, as the sport was thought to be far too punishing for women’s bodies and health.

The ban was finally lifted only 50 years later.

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A Sheffield Ladies football team who won the Nottingham Ladies League cup final in July 1982

The group are aiming to mark both anniversaries with public events, a new play and a written history of women's football in and around Sheffield.

During World War One matches played by female munitions workers attracted thousands of spectators.

A match on Boxing Day 1916 between teams from the Vickers Works Projectile Shops in Sheffield played in aid of war charities at the company’s ground in Carbrook attracted around 10,000 spectators.

Wintry conditions at Bracken Moor, Stocksbridge in the 2007 Women's Challenge Cup Final between Doncaster Rovers Belles and Sheffield Wednesday Ladies. Pictured are the Owls' Rachel Keeme and Rovers' Sophie Hopper

Playing in football matches was one way for the hard-working munitionettes, as they were known, to enjoy some recreation from the tough grind of their back-breaking jobs.

The project is being supported by the Sheffield-based social inclusion project and charity Football Unites, Racism Divides (FURD).

Their women’s and girls’ football development worker, Ruth Johnson, is part of the group.

Ruth and her fellow Stoppage Time member Sarah Choonara co-organised FURD’s first-ever Female Football Festival in 2016.

Sarah said that the multi-activity event combined film, art, speakers, a tournament and a girls’ trip to Bramall Lane.

The group are very keen to hear from anyone who has any information or memorabilia related to women’s football in Sheffield so that they can include it in the project.

Email me, Julia Armstrong, at [email protected] and I’ll put you in touch.