As the Scotland women’s national side prepare for the play-off matches to qualify for next summer’s World Cup, a new exhibition reveals the story of Scotland’s forgotten champions.
‘The First Ladies of Football’ exhibition at the Stockbridge Library traces the history of woman’s game from the first match held at Easter Road in 1881 to the stars of the present day such as Kim Little.
The First Ladies Project began in the summer of 2012 with a large exhibition at the Scottish Football Museum and since then project organiser artist Stuart Gibbs has been slowly piecing together the story.
“This has been quite a neglected subject and there is a great deal about the history of women’s football that has gone untold and this is what the project is trying to address. I’m hoping to get a book out but new material is coming to light all the time and a lot of the work I’ve done so far has had to go in the bin. Slowly and steadily though a good picture of what happened is starting to develop, something we’ve not really had before.”
It was Mary and Alfred Proctor who first founded the Edinburgh City Girls during May of 1937 to challenge Dick Kerr Ladies for the ‘Championship of Great Britain and the World.’ The first match held in Blackpool wasn’t so successful losing 5-1 but the match played at St Bernards old ground the Gymnasium was a different story when Rena Shanks stepped up to open the scoring for the City Girls with Linda Clements and the famous Nancy Thomson adding the others in a 5-2 win. A few weeks later the side met Glasgow Ladies in the Championship final at Carmuirs Juniors grounds in Falkirk with a resounding 7-0 win seeing them take the title.
After the war two of the City Girls players Linda Clements and Mary Leslie set up a new side Edinburgh Dynamos which played through the late 40s and early 50s but never quite reached the heights of the City Girls side. The Edinburgh Dynamos would be revived during the late 1960s winning the second Scottish Cup in 1972 and going on to win the trophy a further seven times. This month Scotland’s current female side have to chance to emulate the side from the 30s in a two legged play off to qualify for the official version of the World Championships.
The First Ladies of Football runs at the Stockbridge Library from Wednesday October 1st until the end of the month opening 9am – 5pm and 1pm – 8pm Wednesday.
Submitted by Stuart Gibbs