UEFA Women's EURO England 2022

Learn more about the heritage of women's football in Brighton & Hove

Brighton & Hove has a rich heritage of women's football

It started under streetlights on the seafront. Now Brighton & Hove Albion women’s team compete in The FA Women’s Super League – the top flight of the women’s professional game in England. 

But a lot’s happened in between. 

The clamour for women’s football in the city really gathered momentum after the England men’s team won the 1966 FIFA World Cup. The postmen at the General Post Office challenged the female telephonists to a charity match and the idea of a women’s team grew. This grew into a women’s league – the Sussex Martlet League – in the early 1970s.

The 1970s also saw the Brighton and Hove Albion Supporters Club Ladies team come to the fore. They were unbeaten for four years and reached the last four of the Women’s FA Cup in 1976.

The story of football in Brighton & Hove also features numerous pioneering women who drove the game forward. Many also played key roles in the game’s national development. Women such as June Jaycocks, Julie Hemsley, Tina Huggins and Hope Powell. All feature in a major new exhibition:

Goal Power! at Brighton Museum and Art Gallery. It runs until 25th September. You’ll find all the details here.

In truth it’s more than an exhibition – it’s a call to action. Goal Power! invites visitors to make an active pledge to support, grow and shout about football for all.

You’ll be inspired to make that pledge as you immerse yourself in the story of the pioneering women who’ve been integral to women’s football in England from 1894 to the present day. From the ground-breaking feminist players of 1895 to the war worker footballers of WW1 and on to those who defied the Football Association to play. Not forgetting the women who went on to change The Football Association from within.

All these women faced challenges – and the exhibition has one for you: What’s your pledge?

Joan Whalley played for the Dick, Kerr Ladies for over 20 years, making her debut aged 15 in 1937. In 1996, she became the first British female footballer to be featured on a national advertising campaign. One of the many fantastic exhibits in Goal Power! © National Football Museum.

To hear and see some of the women who feature in the history of women’s football in and around Brighton & Hove, please click below:

Goal Power! Women’s Football, 1894-2022
18 June – 25 Sept 2022
Brighton Museum & Art Gallery

This exhibition gives you Brighton Museum’s dream squad, women who have dedicated their lives to the ‘beautiful game’. Share in their stories of resistance, perseverance, but above all a love for football that means they have trailblazed the way for women and girls today. From the feminist players of 1894 and the war worker footballers of the First World War to those who defied the ban and those who have changed game from within.

Be inspired by real life stories of courage and determination.
See incredible personal objects, such as football boots from 1921, the tea set given to German footballer Petra Landers by the German FA for winning the European Championship in 1989, the shirt belonging to founder of the Afghanistan women’s football team, Khalida Popal.

From the end of July, there will be the chance to play on newly commissioned special female football table, featuring local teams, Brighton & Hove Albion and Lewes FC.

More information: www.brightonmuseums.org.uk