In a previous life I scribbled about saaacer but the women football ban never came up then.
On the football pitch you mucky devils!
While any adolescent Scot from the early 80s will identify with the rite of passage film Gregory’s Girl.
Although we in our all-boys school could only have dreamt of a keeper like Dorothy.
If we’d been allowed to play football competitively rather than on the playground.
Michelle and Matthews magic
I confess too that I wasn’t as star-struck as I should have been when I met American soccer legend Michelle Akers, also in the Granite City.
Because England great Sir Stanley Matthews was there with her.
All of which reminiscences have been sparked by today’s woman’s FA Cup final.
When they will reflect on the first showpiece, between Southampton and Scots Stewarton Thistle, (more a back pitch) 50 years ago.
Still it must have felt like Wembley where Arsenal and Chelsea will compete today for the players in 1971.
The women’s game in the UK quite amazingly and disgracefully had been in abeyance for the previous 50 years.
And not because it wasn’t popular, though that shouldn’t matter either.
Tens of thousands turning out to see the lassies play.
No, because the chauvinistic chiefs of the FA banned women’s football in 1921 stating that it was ‘quite unsuitable for females’.
Despite the legendary Dick, Kerr Ladies and St Helens Ladies playing before 52,000 the previous Boxing Day.
The FA were perhaps worried that their women would swap their pinnies for boots.
But the Dick, Kerr Ladies were not to be put off.
And they took on a US tour and played men’s teams over there.
Whether that inspired the grandmothers of Carol Terry or Michelle Akers.
They did start an American revolution in women’s saaacer.
And that has made them the force in the game though the English are now catching up.
I’ll maybe give Carol some thought if I do return to Beantown next year after 34 years away.
In the absence of a Boston team, I’ll adopt NWSL champions Washington Spirit from DC out of east coast solidarity.
Out of respect for Carol.
As no self-respecting Bostonian, or friend, would plump for a New York side (in this case Gotham).
So on My Sporting Weekend as I watch the Women’s FA Cup final I will reflect on the women football ban.
And did I say that I have the pinnie on today while The Worker, she’s out in the field?