The Research Team at Bishop Grosseteste University (BGU) have launched a new exhibition at the Lincoln Central Library to explore and celebrate the history of women’s football.

The exhibition promotes and celebrates women’s football in Britain from the early years up to today, including its presence in Lincoln and the wider county of Lincolnshire.

With a legacy dating back over 100 years the Lincoln Ladies, or Lady Imps, are one of the Sport’s most enduring teams, gaining huge popularity during the Great War before an FA ban at the end of the conflict forced them to fight for their survival.

Two stories are incorporated into the exhibition. The first is the history of the women’s game from the 1880s up to the First World War, in particular the highpoint during the conflict of 1914-18. The second story is that of the recent revival of the game, focusing on the successful run for the Lincoln City Ladies team that came to a controversial end in 2013.

The exhibition has been produced to coincide with the performances of the Lincoln Mystery Plays latest production: ‘The World at Her Feet’. The play has been written to mark the centenary of the final year of the First World War. The script recognises the contribution of munitionette workers, some of whom formed football teams. Dr Andrew Jackson, Head of Research at BGU, described his excitement at what the joint endeavours of the exhibition and the play could achieve:

“The ‘World at Her Feet’ will be a powerful play. It will resonate as a fitting end to the four centenary years of the First World War. The production will also feature in a year of anniversaries commemorating progress in the place and status of women, and their achievement of the right to vote. In addition, the performance will be set in a context of today, and a revival of the women’s game of football at national and international levels.”

It is hoped that the exhibition will not only bring the extraordinary stories of the trailblazing Lady Imps to light, but also inspire a new generation to follow in their footsteps.

The exhibition also coincides with celebrations nationwide of women gaining the right to vote one hundred years ago. BGU has been running several activities throughout the year, including another special exhibition, to commemorate this historic event.

The Research Team at BGU are dedicated to preserving and championing the history of Lincolnshire and its residents. You can keep up to date with all their activities via our website or, if you would like to get involved yourself, you can contact our Enquiries Team to find out how to start your new adventure.

The exhibition will run at the Lincoln Central Library until the 17th of November and is open to all.

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