A blue plaque has been unveiled to honour the pioneering women’s football club Manchester Corinthian Ladies.
The plaque and other tributes, which were funded by donations from the FA, Manchester City Council and members of the public, celebrate the Corinthians’ endeavours to develop the women’s game in England from the time the club was established in 1949 to when it closed in the 1980s.
In the second half of the 20th century, Manchester Corinthians toured the world raising money for charity and promoting women’s football, with the club established during the period when women were banned from playing the game.
Playing as an unofficial England side, the Corinthians won a European tournament in Germany in 1957, where they played in front of a 50,000-strong crowd, before going on a tour of South America in 1960 which lasted three months. During the late 1960s, the club was one of the co-founders of the Women’s Football Association, which went onto play a pivotal role in the lifting of the ban on the sport.
Alongside the plaque, two murals depicting the Corinthians have been painted at Fog Lane Park, Didsbury, the former home of the trailblazing side. 25 women who played for the club were in attendance for the unveiling of the tribute, including 92-year-old Dorothy Alcock who first joined the Corinthians at their formation in 1949.
They were joined by representatives from the FA, including former England international Kerry Davis, who herself is a trailblazer in the women’s game as one of the Lionesses’ top goalscorers and the first Black player.
The Manchester Corinthians’ plaque is the third the FA has helped to fund to commemorate the pioneers of women’s football, with plaques also in place in Preston for Dick Kerr Ladies and in Luton for Chiltern Valley Ladies and the British Independents.
Baroness Sue Campbell, our director of women’s football, said: “This plaque honours the tireless endeavours of the players and coaches from Manchester Corinthians, who blazed a trail for the women’s game at a time when it was pushed to the shadows.
"Without the pioneers who challenged societal norms to put women’s football on the map, the game wouldn’t be growing at the rate we’re seeing today and we’re truly grateful to everyone who laid the path for us to get here.”