Florrie Redford was born in Preston c. 1899. She was a “munitionette” during the First World War, working for the Dick, Kerr Company, where she played football during meal breaks; she was in the Dick, Kerr Ladies XI for its first match on Christmas Day 1917, watched by 10 000 spectators, and raising £200 for a local hospital. Florrie Redford was an outstanding goalscoring centre-forward. She represented England in women’s international games against Scotland and Wales in 1918.
Pioneer of the Women’s Game
After the war ended and women returned to civilian life, Florrie Redford trained to be a psychiatric nurse. Dick, Kerr Ladies had great success. In 1920 and 1921, their matches were watched by huge crowds and raised thousands of pounds for hospitals and other charities. Florrie led England in a series of matches against France. But this surge of interest in the women’s game was blocked in December 1921 when the Football Association issued a ban on the women’s game.
Outside the Law
The FA ban did not stop the women’s game completely; Dick, Kerr and other teams kept on playing, but all games were ‘unofficial’. Along with Lily Parr and the French player, Carmen Pomies, Florrie Redford led the Dick, Kerr team on its tour of North America in 1922. Florrie was also invited by Carmen to play in France. Florrie emigrated to Canada in 1930. She came home in 1938 and played one last match against a French touring team, before retiring from the game. She later moved to Coventry and married John Fairley. Florrie Redford Fairley died after a heart attack in 1969.
Florrie Redford was a leading pioneer of women’s football, and a star centre-forward for Dick, Kerr Ladies in the 1920s playing in England, France and the United States. She was a close friend of Carmen Pomies, who moved from France to Preston to join the Dick, Kerr team. Florrie qualified as a psychiatric nurse and emigrated to Canada in 1930 but later returned to England.
Educators could look at the life story of Florrie Redford and work with young people to consider these questions:
- Find out how Florrie Redford has been remembered (or forgotten?) in the history of women’s football in Britain.
- What does Florrie Redford’s life story tell us about football and the place of women in society?
Find out more
Read the article on Football Makes history about her relation to Carmen Pomies.
La Mujer el Football (Women and Football). Florrie Redford of Dick, Kerr’s Ladies greets Carmen Pomies, captain of France, 1925 (Photo: Wikimedia Commons).
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.
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.
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.
LATEST POST You may also be interested in
Through examples from football, we can encourage students to think out of the box on complex issues such as equality and inclusion, and ask thought-provoking questions.
What if your students could talk with someone who has been hurt by a football chant, asking them why and analysing the chant with them?
Teaching students about gender inequality in football and the ethics of advertisements by analyzing image sources.
FC United is a documentary about racism in Belgium and gives much needed voice to the affected.