'kiss before kick-off' limited edition giclée print
I’ve created this piece of artwork in celebration of the history of women’s football. It imagines a meeting across 100 years between Dick, Kerr ladies (of Dick, Kerr ladies munitions factory in Preston) and some of the founding teams of Bristol Women’s Football Casual League (BWFCL) which celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2022.
I’ve played football with the Easton Cowgirls for 19 years and during this time I’ve seen the development of women’s football culminating in England’s unforgettable Euros 2022 win, with record crowds cheering them on.
But as many of you will no doubt know by now, Women’s football previous hay day was in 1920 when there were over 130 womens teams playing across the UK raising the equivalent of millions of pounds for charity.
This piece of artwork is based on a famous photo and the match on Boxing Day in 1920 when Dick, Kerr ladies played St Helen’s at Goodison Park to a crowd of 53,000 with another 14,000 outside in the grounds. Less than a year later the FA made the shock move of banning Women’s football across all of its grounds, effectively culling the womens game. Women were told that playing football would make them infertile and it “was not fit for women”. By the 1930s there were only a few dozen teams left and no ability to play to crowds.
The ban lasted 50 years, was only lifted in 1971 and it would be another 40 years before the 1920 crowd record was beaten (London Olympics 2012).
So whilst this new dawn is fab for all the young women & girls out there (men & boys too) there is a whole generation of us who wanted to play football & weren’t able to. For this I’m still part sad & part angry. In fact to be able to play I had to build something that would give me the chance to do this - I was one of the founders of the BWCFL - but what myself & many others have created in the last 10 years has now grown to be a wonderful league with 30 women’s teams giving hundreds of women the chance to play the beautiful game.
So I’ve made this to commemorate all that has happened.
Forza to all the women past & present who are part of this story.
Print sizes available:
12 x 9 inch, £30, (print run of 100) or 16 x 12 inch, £45, (print run of 50)
Giclée print on Arches Aquarelle Rag, 310 gsm.
Each print is numbered and signed by the artist, Zoe Gibbons.
Free UK shipping with this item.
Original artwork available to buy - see separate listing