Sheffield football researchers want to get creative with your stories from the women’s game

A group of football-mad researchers want to get creative with stories of the women’s game in Sheffield.

By Steve Jones
Thursday, 18th February 2021, 11:13 am
Ruth Johnson from FURD wants to uncover more stories about women's football in Sheffield.
Ruth Johnson from FURD wants to uncover more stories about women's football in Sheffield.

The Stoppage Time project aims to recognise and celebrate women’s involvement in football in and around Sheffield from the nineteenth century to the present day.

They want their findings to inspire a short film, artwork or a book, with £250 in funding already secured from Sporting Heritage.

Ruth Johnson, women & girls' football development worker at Sheffield-based charity Football Unites Racism Divides (FURD), has been working with the National Football Museum in Manchester and four other researchers to uncover forgotten and previously untold stories.

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She said: "I’m quite excited. We are finding out some interesting stories so I think it will be a good project.

“The project will research the history of women in football in the local area and interview a wide range of local women and girls of different ages, backgrounds and nationalities about their relationship with football.”

It is timed to coincide with the Women’s Euros coming to South Yorkshire in 2022, the centenary of the FA ban on women playing football on FA-affiliated pitches in 1921 and the fiftieth anniversary of that ban being lifted.

Memories and memorabilia uncovered could also feature in the permanent exhibition celebrating Sheffield’s contribution to The Beautiful Game due to open at the Central Library this summer thanks to the Sheffield Home of Football campaign.

Ruth said: "I can’t wait for the exhibition, that’s fantastic.

"I’m really pleased that it’s going to be here in Sheffield because there’s so much local football history and it’s really important to people.”

Since starting the project last year, Ruth has discovered details about a South Yorkshire league for women’s teams during World War One, which regularly attracted crowds in the thousands.

She said: "There were 10,000 watching a match at the Vickers sports ground in Carbrook, a 2,000 capacity venue, in 1916 which raised £100 for the colliers fund.”

"There was another match at Pitsmoor in April 1917 between two work teams. Five thousand people turned up and the roof fell in with 30 people on it. Only one person was seriously injured.”

Anyone who wants to contribute to the Stoppage Time project should email Ruth at [email protected]