Lily Parr: new photos of Dick,Kerr Ladies legend found in attic

Never-seen before photos of legendary Preston footballer Lily Parr have been put on display - after being found in an attic.

By Jenny Simpson
Friday, 30th July 2021, 12:30 pm

In the 1920s as part of Preston’s Dick Kerr Ladies, Parr scored nearly 1000 goals in a three-decade career.

She played in some of the world’s first women’s international matches and was a trailblazer for women footballers the world over.

A relative of team-mate Lizzy Ashcroft found the unseen pictures in a loft and has donated them to the National Football Museum in Manchester, where they have been put on permanent display.

Dick, Kerr Ladies featured on Pathe news Photo: Lizzy Ashcroft Collection/National Football Museum

The images depict football’s first female superstars in the inter-war years. They were at the height of their game and fame – playing in front of huge crowds around the globe. They are portrayed hanging around in parks, going for cycle rides and hanging out with other top footballers from Europe.

The new display has been made possible thanks to a £55,440 grant from the Association of Independent Museums (AIM) Biffa Award, which gives grants to museums and heritage organisations to help tell stories of lesser-known historical figures through its History Makers Scheme. History Makers is funded by AIM Biffa Award, as part of the Landfill Communities Fund.

What's on show?

The display features around 35 objects – many on display for the very first time including:

Lily Parr is seen holding the ball in a postcard Photo: Lizzy Ashcroft Collection/ National Football Museum

-An amazing postcard of the Dick Kerr Ladies team signed by the team including Lily Parr.

-The very minute book from 1921 which ruled women’s football be banned from league grounds. This was a defining moment in women’s football.

-A collection of postcards and images from the Lizzy Ashcroft Collection. Lizzy was a teammate and good friend of Lily Parr.

-Medals presented to Lizzy Ashcroft from the glory days of Dick Kerr Ladies.

Belinda Scarlett, curator of women’s football said: “We are delighted to open this new permanent display dedicated to Lily Parr. In 2019 the museum unveiled a statue to Lily – the first statue of a women’s footballer in the UK. We are pleased to further tell the story of Lily and her teammates’ remarkable achievements.

“As well as marking their footballing ability, the display tells of the girls’ defiance to play the game they loved while the powers-that-be tried to ban them.

“Lily is one of the most important figures in world football but is far from a household name. We hope to redress that balance with fresh attention on the women who defied the ban and inspired future generations of girls to play football."

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