History of women’s football to be exhibited at Gunnersbury Park

The history of women’s football is to be exhibited at Gunnersbury Park Museum in summer 2022, in collaboration with UEFA Women’s EURO 2022.

The National Lottery funded project aims to challenge the common perception of women’s football being ‘new’ and change the nation’s understanding of the game.

Stories and objects relating to pioneering women and girls in football across Hounslow and Ealing will be recorded for the first time as part of the UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 Heritage Programme.

London is one of nine UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 host cities, taking part in a fantastic range of community events and celebrations this summer. It also marks an important year for women’s football as England hosts the UEFA football competition, with Brentford Community Stadium and Wembley Stadium having the honour of holding the finals.

Gunnersbury Park Museum, on behalf of Hounslow and Ealing councils and in partnership with The FA, has joined a number of other organisations across England for the project which was awarded £500,000 by The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Image above: Scene from Bend it Like Beckham

Celebrating the history of women’s football

Hounslow and Ealing have a rich history of women’s and girls’ football activity, which programme hopes to celebrate. The area is rich in history from Brentford Football Club to grassroots football teams, as well as being the birthplace of ‘Bend It Like Beckham!’.

This year will also mark 141 years since women’s football was first played professionally.

Eilish McGuinness, CEO of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said:

“Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, the hidden history and unheard voices of women’s football will be shared for the first time, capturing the full story of the beloved sport. We’re delighted to support this project which will give fans and players the chance to celebrate the history of women’s football and communities to discover their connections to the game.”

Hounslow Council Cabinet Member for Leisure Services, Councillor Samia Chaudhary, said:

“This is exciting news and we’re really pleased to welcome the exhibition to our borough. Celebrating the history of women’s football has never been more important and relevant, and I hope it will inspire many more women and girls to get involved, and remind them that women have always been an important part of the beautiful game.

Thanks to the National Lottery Heritage Fund there will be yet another reason to visit and enjoy our brilliant Gunnersbury Park. We want these events to be inclusive and available to all diverse backgrounds and faith groups. We hope to encourage a greater participation in football and the many fitness benefits it brings, and develop our archives for the future.”

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See also: Gunnersbury Park becomes Jurassic Park

See also: Council approves plans to ‘reimagine’ Chiswick town centre.

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