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Dick, Kerr Ladies memorial unveiled at Preston North End

Posted on - 23rd December, 2017 - 12:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Deepdale, History, Preston News, Preston North End, Sport, UCLan
The Dick, Kerr Ladies memorial
The Dick, Kerr Ladies memorial

A piece of Preston’s sporting history was marked on the side of the city’s football ground.

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Dick, Kerr Ladies were the most successful women’s football team of all time and now have something to mark this achievement at Deepdale – home of Preston North End.

A six metre wide granite plaque was unveiled on Friday (22 December_ at the Sir Tom Finney end.

The Ladies side were set up while working in a local munitions factory 100 years ago.

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On Christmas Day it will mark exactly 100 years since the Dick, Kerr Ladies played in front of 10,000 spectators at Preston North End.

They went on to become world champions and had an unbeaten run of more than 320 games and raised around £10million for war-related charities.

Former England and Everton goalkeeper Rachel Brown-Finnis
Former England and Everton goalkeeper Rachel Brown-Finnis

In 1920 they played in front of 53,000 spectators at Goodison Park against St Helens, with between 10,000-14,000 apparently locked out because the game was such a sell-out.

Former Dick, Kerr players were at the ceremony to unveil the plaque.

Author of ‘In A League of Their Own! A history of Dick, Kerr Ladies FC’ Gail Newsham, former Everton and England goalkeeper Rachel Brown-Finnis and a former Dick, Kerr lady Sheila Parker pulled back the curtain on the memorial.

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Ms Newsham said: “Today is probably the proudest day of my life and I can’t find the words to adequately convey how honoured I feel to have been part of unveiling this wonderful tribute to the Dick, Kerr Ladies. They have waited far too long for their place in the spotlight, but finally they are centre stage and will be remembered forever.

“I am eternally grateful to everyone who worked so hard to help make a dream become a reality.”

Gail Newsham, Rachel Brown-Finnis and Sheila Parker
Gail Newsham, Rachel Brown-Finnis and Sheila Parker

Sheila said: “Being a former Dick, Kerr Ladies player and then becoming the first England Ladies captain, it is a real honour being asked to unveil this historic memorial. The players deserve it as they brought women’s football into the sporting world.

“It means so much to me that this memorial has actually happened so that now everyone can see and will now know who the Dick, Kerr Ladies players were and their names will never be forgotten.”

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The plaque at Deepdale follows the installation of a blue plaque being put up at the former Dick, Kerr and Co factory building in Strand Road where the team originally formed.

One of the sponsors of the granite plaque was the University of Central Lancashire.

Read more: A brief history of the Dick, Kerr Ladies football team

Pro-chancellor, chair of the University Board and Preston North End deputy chairman David Taylor said: “On behalf of UCLan and also in my capacity as Deputy Chairman of PNE, I am delighted that the Dick Kerr Ladies Memorial will be in place before Christmas. The contribution these women made are a critical part of Preston’s heritage and we can all join together in celebrating their achievements.”

 

What do you think about the Dick, Kerr Ladies plaque? Let us know in the comments below

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