UEFA Women's EURO England 2022

Learn more about the heritage of women's football in Rotherham

Learn more about the heritage of women's football in Rotherham

Wind the clock back 129 years – to 1893 – and you’ll find the first recorded women’s football match in Rotherham. Wind it forward to 1917 and with World War 1 raging, local women munition workers took the pitch at Rotherham United’s Millmoor ground.

But it took another 52 years for women’s football in the area to really get going. That’s when, in 1969, Kilnhurst Shooting Stars was formed in the South Yorkshire minster town, famous for its glass making and flour milling.

The start of Kilnhurst Shooting Stars is the kick-off point for:

Grassroots to Glory: Our Story So Far’, a free exhibition at Clifton Park Museum, which runs to Sunday 9th October. 

The exhibition is the first time the history of women’s football in Rotherham has been researched and archived and tracks the stories of nine inspirational women. All nine started playing the game on the town’s playing fields and between them went on to play at international level or carved out careers in the football industry.

They include Val Hoyle, a founding member of Kilnhurst Shooting Stars, who played for the club for 30 years. Then there’s Annetta Harvey, one of football’s first women referees. Not forgetting a trio of players who represented their country – Cathy Hamstead, Vicky Exley and Leanne Hall.

As the exhibition reveals, Kilnhurst Shooting Stars morphed into Rotherham United Women Football Club in 2003. And the story of women’s football in South Yorkshire is still unfolding.

Annetta Harvey with her son on obtaining her referee qualification. She was one of the first women referees with a qualification recognised by The Football Association and was also a former player for Kilnhurst Ladies. © Annetta Harvey.


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


Free Outdoor Exhibition
Rotherham | Clifton Park | S65 2BH  

Grass Roots to Glory – Our Story So Far
Clifton Park Museum
18 June – 9 October 2022

This free exhibition charts the powerful and personal story of women’s football across Rotherham. Discover where it all began, from the grassroots of Rotherham playing fields to the international pitches of European Championships. Hear the voices of our local lionesses recounting their achievements as well as women who have strived to give the game the centre stage it deserves. Discover the stories of passionate football fans and the female coaches and commentators who have turned their passion into a profession. Come along and be inspired as we celebrate Rotherham’s status as a host city of UEFA European Women’s Championship 2022!
• Free family activities on the opening day. Meet the women who have given their stories and objects to create the exhibition.
• Step into our comms box and commentate a local game to your family.
• Hold up the trophy and take a selfie to share with us on social media.
• Share you hopes and memories about the UEFA European Women’s Championship games taking place in Rotherham in July.
• Create your own unofficial personalised merchandise

Little Kicks
Clifton Park Museum
22 June, 5 July, 6 July, 20 July

Suitable for ages 1-4, FREE (no need to book)
Join Little Nelson for a super sporty session of outdoor games! Practice throwing and catching, then have a go at scoring into our own mini-goal. Every child receives a medal for taking part.

‘Make your own Footy Shirt’ with Alistair Flindall
Clifton Park Museum
Wednesday 24 & 31 August
Got an old footy shirt or t-shirt you no longer wear? Are you a fashionista keen to make your mark? Come along to upcycle and revamp your merch with simple alterations, a personalised logo, lettering and numbers assisted by our graphic artist, Alastair and his heat press!
Suitable for families with children 6+. Free to enter.
More information: www.Cliftonpark.org.uk