Provincial newspapers, sports reporting and the origins, rise and fall of women’s football: Lincolnshire, 1880s-1940s

Jackson, A.J.H., Capancioni, C., Johnson, E. and Hope-Johnson, S. (2020) Provincial newspapers, sports reporting and the origins, rise and fall of women’s football: Lincolnshire, 1880s-1940s. Midland History, 45 (2). pp. 244-257. ISSN 1756-381X

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Abstract

The history of the modern game of football is well established, but it has stimulated certain areas of fresh focus recently—the ‘origins of [men’s] football’ debate being of prominence. Meanwhile, the success of the women’s game over the last few years, nationally and internationally, has encouraged new and due attention to the study of its long-neglected history, and an appreciation of its significance, past and present. Research has made particular use of provincial newspapers as an essential primary source yielding empirical detail, contemporary discourse, and alternative insight through local and regional case studies. Through the late-nineteenth century and into the twentieth, major urban centres, working-class football and the local press were expanding hand in hand. This article reports on the emergence of women’s football in Lincoln and the wider county, taking as a particular focus the instrumental cultural role of the provincial newspaper in recording, promoting and critiquing sporting activities. The work was undertaken to support the production of a play and exhibition in 2018, marking the contribution of Lincoln ‘munitionette’ workers during the First World War, and their forming of factory football teams. The exhibition was remounted in the summer of 2019, for the duration of the Women’s World Cup. Research concentrated on sampling, analysing and representing the complex, contradictory and changeable language of the press in occasional late-nineteenth century reports, the fuller accounts appearing by 1917, and dwindling coverage up to and following the Football Association’s controversial 1921 ban of the women’s game.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2020 Taylor and Francis. This is an author accepted manuscript of a paper subsequently published in Midland History. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy
Divisions: School of Humanities
Depositing User: Stephen Macdonald
Date Deposited: 30 Mar 2020 09:47
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2020 08:51
URI: https://bgro.repository.guildhe.ac.uk/id/eprint/721

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