Recorded Lectures

The development of women’s football in Scotland, 1880-1939

Presented by Professor Fiona Skillen MA MPhil PhD FRHistS SFHEA

The 5th of December 2021 marked the 100th anniversary of the introduction of the Football Association’s ‘ban’ on women’s football in England. Yet, 100 years on we have little understanding of the impact of that ‘ban’ or how, why and where women’s football developed within the nations which make up the United Kingdom. Scotland has in the last 100 years at least, had a problematic relationship with women’s football. It was the last European Football Association to formally recognise the women’s game in 1974. It has often been assumed and perpetuated by the press, that the women’s game only began to develop in Scotland from the 1960s onwards, culminating with the founding of Scottish Women’s Football Association (SFWA) in 1971. At a time when the profile of the women’s game has taken on a new significance within Scottish culture it seems right to explore and celebrate its long yet under discussed history and heritage. This lecture will focus on the initial findings of Professor Skillen’s current research project for FIFA which maps the development of women’s football in Scotland from the 1880s to the outbreak of World War Two.

Professor Fiona Skillen is a Professor of History, in the Department of Social Sciences, School for Business and Society at Glasgow Caledonian University. Her research interests concern modern history, in particular aspects of sport, gender and popular culture. Her work has explored the influence which dominant discourses concerning gender and modernity had on women’s sport and popular culture during the late 19th and 20th centuries. She has also worked on projects focusing on aspects of Scottish sports history including, the sporting heritage of Glasgow and the history of Scotland’s role in the Commonwealth Games.

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