Walking football strolled into Preston to help mark the 100th anniversary of the historic Dick Kerr Ladies football team.Advertisement
More than 150 women took part in what is understood to be the UK’s first ever women’s walking football tournament.
The fast-growing sport saw a six-a-side tournament take place at the Preston Sports Arena.
Walking football is generally a five-a-side game, which has the same rules as football but you can’t run. That’s cheating.
Dick Kerr Ladies are the most successful women’s football team in history.
In the 1920s they played in front of 53,000 spectators at Goodison Park, Everton.
The tournament follows a blue plaque being unveiled at the former Dick, Kerr & Co building, now Alstom, in Strand Road where the team was founded.
Author of In A League Of Their Own, a history of the Dick Kerr Ladies, Gail Newsham said: “This inaugural National Women’s Walking Football Tournament has been an incredible success and is a stepping stone for an even bigger international event next year. While keeping the Dick, Kerr Ladies name in the spotlight and preserving their legacy, it also serves to promote the game of football for older players who might not get the same opportunities as their younger counterparts.
The event was put on in association with the Football Association who organised a commemorative Centenary dinner at Preston North End.
The FA’s national women’s participation manager Rachel Pavlou said: “The FA is pleased to support this inaugural DK Ladies FC national women’s walking football tournament. We are delighted that so many teams have entered in the first year, linking nicely with The FA’s strategy to double participation in women’s football by 2020.”
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Chairman of the University of Central Lancashire and deputy chairman of PNE David Taylor said: “Both the University and Preston North End are happy to support Centenary events to celebrate the Dick, Kerr Ladies Football Team.
“What these women achieved both on the field and off the field in terms of raising money for injured soldiers during the First World War is remarkable by any standards. The City of Preston can be rightly proud of the heritage and both the University and the Football Club will play there part in raising funds to create a well-deserved and permanent memorial.”