Carmen Pomies was born in Paris in 1900. A multi-talented athlete, Carmen competed in the first World Women’s Games (throwing the javelin) and excelled in swimming, tennis, hockey and football. She joined Femina (Football Francais Feminin) and was an outstanding player in the Femina team that toured England in 1920; this began a long series of France-England matches. Carmen formed lasting friendships with Dick, Kerr Ladies of Preston, especially with Florrie Redford. They both took part in Dick, Kerr’s ambitious tour of North America in 1922.
Football, Friendships and Resistance
Carmen Pomies kept playing through the interwar years. She lived for a time in Preston, and was a key player for Dick, Kerr Ladies (they won “world championships” against Belgium in 1934 and Edinburgh in 1937). Then France was invaded and occupied in 1940. Carmen was in the Resistance, working for the German High Command but secretly providing documents to help people escape from Occupied France. Her sister, Helene was also in the resistance, and wrote a book about it, Blood in the Mountains. After the war, Carmen decided to leave France.
In 1945, Carmen visited her football friends in Preston; she then went to live in Rochester NY, to work for a company run by executives who had been childhood friends in Paris. Carmen was well-liked in Rochester, known as a brilliant tennis player. In 1950 Carmen moved to New York City, to work as a translator at the United Nations. She eventually returned to France. Carmen Pomies died in Paris in September 1982. It was her 82nd birthday.
Carmen Pomies was an outstanding athlete in many sports, and one of the pioneer female footballers in France. Her life story encompassed the early years of women’s football in France, a long association with football in England through her friendship with Florrie Redford, working for the French Resistance against Nazi Occupation, and years living in North America, where she worked for the United Nations.
Educators could look at the life story of Carmen Pomies and work with young people to consider these questions:
- What can be learned from the story of Carmen Pomies about sport, society and female equality during her long life?
- Find out more about how football linked together the lives of Carmen Pomies and Florrie Redford; and about the difficulties faced by the women who loved the game.
Find out more
Read the article Football Makes History already wrote about her relationship with Florrie Redford.
Carmen Pomies, captain of Women’s National team France, Très Sport n. 31, Nov 1, 1924 (Photo: Très Sport).
LIFE STORIES To discover now
Do you wanna know more?
HISTORY CAN BE EXPLORED THROUGH THE LIVES OF INDIVIDUALS
Browse our collection of stories about football history and inclusion. With the history of football being made up of millions of stories, of individuals and communities, of movements and processes, we offer stories that can inspire our cultural conversations today.
Get to know untold stories where individuals are making history with football. When faced with insurmountable challenges, individuals past and present can use football as a cultural force to foster positive change in society. We honour these individuals and tell their ‘untold’ stories in short videos.
Explore our innovative educational resources that use football’s history, heritage and legacy to engage young people. The resources include ready-made lesson plans and historical source collections for school history education as well as toolkit with activities for non-formal settings.
In the wake of the 2015 migration peak, activists and volunteers across Europe have been involved in supporting refugees, sometimes with the simple act of offering space and friendship to participate in football through grassroots clubs to help newcomers integrate.
BBC Sport’s Football Focus visits Bundesliga side FC Union Berlin, a “rebellious” football club from East Berlin with a special set of fans, playing their first season in Germany’s top flight 30 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
LATEST POST You may also be interested in
A class of high school history students in Oslo was asked to create an ideal starting XI line-up based on Human Rights. Find out why and how it went.
A loving fan and musician put together his two passions and created this compilation of tunes from the Jazz Age.
Prayer days on stadiums, faith rooms and inclusive chants: here is how English football is adapting to a changing world.
Engage young people through Football Makes History’s own Guidebook and Toolkit for promoting social inclusion in formal education or Non-formal settings
Telling the history of a city through football stories: a celebration of Amsterdam.