As a memorial was unveiled for the Dick, Kerr Ladies – possibly the most famous football team to come from Preston – the late Paul Swarbrick’s piece about the side felt timely to be republished.Advertisement
Many factories in Britain had a large number of women working in them during war time as part of a government initiative for women to do their part in the war effort in standing in for the men who had gone to war.
Preston engineering works, Dick, Kerr was indeed no exception and was converted to an ammunition production factory during WWI and had a large share of women working there and due to encouragement by the government agents for female employees to engage in sporting activities, the women workers started to play football and made up a team which they called the Dick, Kerr Ladies.
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The team rose to great heights in their achievements and became the most successful football team in the history of women’s football.
The Dick, Kerr Ladies Football team used to practice on Ashton Park on what was colloquially known as ‘Lively Polly Corner’, named after a popular brand of washing powder who’s name once adorned the hoardings which were around the park on the corner of Blackpool Road and Pedder Lane.
The team was disbanded in 1965 due to lack of players; however, it must be remembered that during the years that they had played the team had raised over £180,000 for charitable causes, which today would be worth around £10 million.
Read more: Blue plaque unveiled to mark where the Dick, Kerr Ladies formed
Fanatical fan of the Dick, Kerr Ladies, Gail Newsham, has become a leading historian on the team and is their official biographer and has been endorsed by the ladies themselves.
You can discover a full history of the Dick, Kerr Ladies on the dedicated website for the team and their history