Celebrating the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Ireland (Dundalk) versus England (Manchester Corinthians) International women’s football match 10 May 1970
On 10 May 1970 Prestatyn and Rhyl Lions Club, hosted an international football match at Prestatyn Harness Race Stadium, between England, (Manchester Corinthians/ Nomads), and Ireland (Dundalk Ladies). Kick off was 3pm which is traditional, but the reason that this was unusual was that the ban on women’s football which had been in place since 1921 was only recently overturned during the course of 1969. So the ban had been in place for almost 50 years. Admission was 1 shilling (five pence), and children could enter for free, with the funds raised going to local charities in the Flintshire area. So Wales was pioneering here, as the race stadium ground was being used since the FA in England had not yet lifted the ban on women playing on its affiliated club grounds. A crowd of 4000 found the match thrilling,
But who were the sides, and how had they come into existence?
Corinthians-Nomads Globe Trotters (Manchester) Football Club
The English club was much more experienced, having been formed in January 1949 by Percy Ashley who had run the club for nineteen years until his death. A well-known scout and referee, who coached and managed the team initially led by his daughter Doris as captain. By 1970 Corinthians, with Nomads as their second team, had established themselves as an international touring club who had raised over £250,000 for charity, including a three-month tour to South America, to mainland Europe and North Africa. They became particularly famous in 1957 winning a European Championship Cup with Manchester City FC’s keeper Bert Trautmann as translator. In 1960 they added the Venezuela International trophy to the other 50 trophies that held. When women’s football was acknowledged by the FA, in the form of Women’s Football Association, created in 1969, Corinthians won the Deal International Tournament in 1968 and 1969, so by the time they met Dundalk they were seasoned international campaigners. Little wonder then that they won 8-1.
From the Goalkeeper Christine Miller, to the back five, there was class in England’s defence. These included captain and full back Pauline Quayle, Janice Lyons, Margaret Wilde, Margaret Taylor and Margaret Temple. The attacking players were even more outstanding. Margaret ‘Whitty’ Whitworth, Patricia Qualye, leading goalscorer Sheila Isherwood, Sue Kelly and Jean Wilson. Wilson would play in the first official England team in 1972 organised by the WFA.
Dundalk Ladies AFC
The Dundalk Ladies were formed in 1968, and had established themselves as Irish champions. This was their first overseas game and so their experience level was much less than Corinthians. This had mainly been developed though indoors matches and small scale games. Players include:
Joan Williams, Jacinta Williams, Anne Osborne, Madge Martin, Nellie McShane, Staisa Wogan, Margaret O’Callaghan, Marie Conway, Paula Gorham, Stella Clark, Geraldine Murphy, Kathleen Osborne, Bernadette Martin and Kay Dillon. Paula Gorham scored the goal for Dundalk, called a ‘fierce free kick from 30 yards’ in the newspaper. Unsurprisingly the same Irish newspaper, The Drogheda Argus and Leinster Journal, commented that at least two of the English goals were offside and the exact score was unclear, some remember at seven goals to one, others eight.
CEAD MILE FAILTE-A Hundred Thousand Welcomes (in Gaelic)
Although the match was very friendly in its staging and considered a great success, there were controversies. Paula Gorham almost scored twice for Dundalk, with a late penalty hitting the woodwork.
Posts written by Jean or Joanna.