Christmas Day started it all for women

375px-1921_Dick,_Kerr's_LadiesAt this time of year, the story of how a truce was called in 1914 in the trenches and British and German troops contested a game of football – won 3-2 by the Germans, by all accounts – inevitably gets retold.

But Christmas Day 1917 is also notable in the history of football, for it is widely believed to be the day when women’s football started in England.

That was the day that the Dick, Kerr’s Ladies FC played in front of 10,000 people against Arundel Coulthard Factory at Preston North End’s Deepdale ground.

Dick, Kerr & Co was a locomotive and tramcar manufacturer based in Kilmarnock, Scotland. During the first world war, the company was converted to munitions and later also manufactured aircraft.

In 1914, the company took on a number of women in the munitions factory and after a number of them played in kick-around games with the…

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