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Rutherglen Ladies FC

Women’s football is often thought to be a modern development but in fact women have been playing football for over 100 years. Recent research has uncovered the forgotten stories of Rutherglen Ladies FC. They played during the 1920s and 1930s, and had to battle against the odds just to play matches, as the FA and the Scottish FA, across the border, deemed the game ‘quite unsuitable for females’. A ban was enforced in England on December 5, 1921 and while there was no formal ban in Scotland until later, attitudes towards women’s football became increasingly hostile.

The exhibition, at the Football Museum until June 2022 and then touring across Scotland, researched and curated by sports historians Dr Fiona Skillen (Glasgow Caledonian University) and Mr Steve Bolton, traces the development of the team from its foundation in 1921 through to disbanding in 1939; exploring the lives of the manager J.H. Kelly and the players themselves, whilst also telling the story of their ground-breaking tours in Scotland, England and Ireland.