Posted: 14.01.22 at 13:55 by Hannah Davenport
The history of women’s football is to be revealed and celebrated for a summer exhibition at Gunnersbury Park Museum, in collaboration with UEFA Women’s EURO 2022.
Stories and objects relating to pioneering women and girls in football across Hounslow and Ealing will be recorded for the first time as part of the UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 Heritage Programme.
The National Lottery funded project aims to challenge the common perception of women’s football being ‘new’ and change the nation’s understanding of ‘the English game’.
It also marks an important year for women’s football as England hosts the UEFA football competition, with Brentford Community Stadium and Wembley Stadium having the honour of holding the finals.
The Lionesses also mark their 50th anniversary this year and it will be 141 years since women’s football was first played professionally.
Gunnersbury Park Museum - on behalf of Hounslow and Ealing councils and in partnership with The FA - has joined a number of other organisations across England for the project which was awarded £500,000 by The National Lottery Heritage Fund.
In addition to this, The FA and host cities have contributed nearly £600,000 to the project, making a total of £1,060,580.
For the very first time, information about every England player, captain, goal scorer and match score since 1972 will be researched, recorded and shared alongside the information that already exists about men’s football.
Hosted on England Football’s website the record will continue to be updated, ensuring future female players are part of the nation’s footballing story and exploring in particular the role of the LGBTQ+ community.
Baroness Sue Campbell, UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 Board Member and Director of Women’s Football, The FA, said: “We are thrilled to be working with our UEFA Women’s EURO Host City partners and The National Lottery Heritage Fund on this unique project.
“Together we will bring to the fore incredible stories of the pioneers of women’s football who have helped shape the women’s game we have today.
“The programme will also capture and tell, for generations to come, the profiles and stories of current and future England players, ensuring fans are better informed than ever before.
“With the UEFA Women’s EURO coming to England this summer, this really is the time to celebrate our past and look forward to a very exciting future.”
London will be one of nine UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 host cities taking part in a range of community events and celebrations this summer.
The Gunnersbury exhibition will be accompanied by an exciting programme of events, such as creative workshops for children and an outdoor film screening.
Hounslow Council Cabinet Member for Leisure Services, Councillor Samia Chaudhary, said it was exciting news for the borough and that the exhibition will provide yet another reason to visit Gunnersbury Park.
Samia said: “Celebrating the history of women’s football has never been more important and relevant, and I hope it will inspire many more women and girls to get involved, and remind them that women have always been an important part of the beautiful game.”
She added: “We want these events to be inclusive and available to all diverse backgrounds and faith groups.
“We hope to encourage a greater participation in football and the many fitness benefits it brings, and develop our archives for the future.”
England will host the 16-team UEFA Women's EURO 2022 finals from 6 to 31 July 2022.
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