In A League Of Their Own – The Dick Kerr Ladies 1917-1965
Written by Gail J Newsham. 2018 Edition. Signed by Gail Newsham
Having parked we saw a café called Bookcase on the way to Carlisle Cathedral and popped in for a lunch time snack. From the café you could see some book cases but when we went to leave we walked past them into a large second hand bookshop. Not having a great deal of time I didn’t go upstairs or rummage through the many books. There is even an upstairs and by the stairs were some sport books which is where I found one of the best football books I have ever read. The second-hand book was £9.99 which was a lot more than I normally pay but totally worth every penny and more.
The research that Gail Newsham has put into this book is phenomenal as she has bought to life the exploits of this amazing team, their unbelievable record, their shabby treatment by the FA but most of all the bringing to life of the ladies who made up the team.
The one thing that jumps out of this book and hugs you is love. Gail meets and makes everlasting friends with past players and brings to life those no longer with us. She does not duck the issue of where they used by others for financial gain.
If you read the book you will realise that some of these ladies were by far the best in the world and which men’s defence of then and now would not squirm if they had to stand up to the indomitable Lily Parr. Gail also chronicles the efforts, many of them hers, to get long term recognition for the team and carry on their memory up to today.
Having read the book you can only conclude that the FA put back the development of Women’s football by decades and hope that the current explosion in the game is nurtured properly.
This book is a treasure.
N.B. The FA again did a disservice to Women’s Football in 2013 when on April 26th they demoted Doncaster Belles from the top division to make way for a more high profile club in the WSL. Despite appeals by many involved in the game they were unsuccessful and the team that had been synonymous with the spirit and excellence of the game were cast adrift. Doncaster continue to fight on in lower divisions and we all hope that next season they can start to regain their status. They were a club who in just over a decade were never out of the top flight, won the FA Cup six times and the League title twice. Nowhere near the influence of the Dick Kerr Ladies but up there in the vanguard.