Weʼve raised £755 to Recognise the pioneering Manchester Corinthians Ladies Football Club, who played at Fog Lane Park, Didsbury
- Funded on Saturday, 22nd October 2022
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The Friends of Fog Lane Park are running our first ever crowd funding campaign in Partnership with Manchester City Council, MCRActive and supporters, players and researchers of the awe inspiring Manchester Corinthians, and their sister club, the Nomads.
We are looking to raise £10,000 and deliver significant tributes (in stages) to these remarkable women who played and promoted football in Fog Lane Park, Didsbury at a time when a FA ban was in place, whose story was nearly lost in the local area.
Raising the following amounts will allow us to:
£2,500 - install a commemorative plaque at Fog Lane Park highlighting the achievements of the club and stage a public celebratory unveiling with former players.
£7000 - all above plus erect a lectern-style information display, close to the actual pitch the women utilised, detailing the Corinthians’ achievements over the decades with the aim of inspiring all especially girls with their story.
£10000+ all above plus recruit a local artist to paint a specially commissioned Manchester Corinthians mural on an appropriate building within the park. creating a landmark visual draw and firmly fixing the history of the Corinthians in fabric of the park in which they were formed and played
Our appeal aims to deliver each of these objectives in stages as funds allow.
The Friends of Fog Lane Park are a volunteer friends group who work to improve Fog Lane Park for all, we have worked well with Manchester City Council and other bodies to repurpose a disused building in the park, creating a cafe space and providing much needed bathroom facilities, running community events, and looking after our green spaces with our volunteers looking after all the planted beds within the park. We have great links through our local park community and were close to losing this important history both the park and women's football. Indeed if Dr Gary James hadn't made contact, it would indeed have been lost.
Football historian Dr Gary James has been researching the story of the Manchester
Corinthians for several years and explains: ‘Both the Corinthians and the Nomads have been significant Manchester teams over many decades. They gave opportunities for women to play football at a time when the FA stubbornly claimed the sport was unsuitable for them.
They toured the world demonstrating all that was good about Manchester, football and female endeavour, winning major competitions and raising a lot of money for charity.
‘Manchester is known as a footballing city and we have been blessed with some incredible successes over the decades, but our major contribution to the history of women’s football from the 1940s has not been given the recognition it deserves. There are statues, plaques and other tributes to men’s football across Greater Manchester yet there’s nothing permanent on the women of Manchester Corinthians. It’s time we rectified that.’
The Corinthians raised a considerable amount for charity over their existence and now it’s time to raise funds to thank them for their efforts by erecting permanent tributes.
Who were the Manchester Corinthians and Manchester Nomads?
The Manchester Corinthians were a team of local women who were brought together under the management of Percy Ashley at a time when the FA banned women from playing on FA affiliated grounds. Established in 1949, Ashley’s team toured the world promoting the sport and demonstrating what a dedicated group of players the club possessed.
This was at a time when FA affiliated clubs were banned from allowing women’s games on their grounds.
Many of the Corinthians are now in their seventies and eighties but they still get together from time to time to talk of their exploits. In 1957 Bert Trautmann, the Manchester City men’s goalkeeper joined them on a tour of Germany, acting as an ambassador for the club.
Corinthians, representing England, won a major competition in Germany which was, at the time, regarded as a women’s European Cup – these were the early days of cross-continent football and UEFA were not involved with organising competitions for the women’s game.
In 1960 the Corinthians ventured outside of Europe for a tour of South America where they won a major international tournament and played in front of significant crowds, including one reported as 60,000. Margaret Whitworth had joined the club as an eleven-year-old in 1958 and was fourteen when she travelled to South America. Her parents had to give permission but some of the women also gave up their jobs for the opportunity of representing Manchester – and England – on the tour. Margaret: “What a great experience for us all! The stadiums… the reception from the crowd… it was all incredible but we all just took it in our stride. It’s only afterwards that you look back and realise how significant it all was.”
A second team was established by Percy Ashley as time progressed called the Nomads.
Ashley wanted the Corinthians and Nomads to promote all that was positive about female participation in football and they certainly achieved that over the decades. They won a host of tournaments and trophies over the years and in 1970 defeated Juventus in the final of a competition in France.
Manchester Corinthians survived into the modern era and continued to play once the FA ban was lifted – a ban they had challenged. The club was still going strong in the 1980s but, due to ground changes and related issues it soon officially changed its name to Woodley Ladies, though was often still known as Corinthians. Some of the Corinthian players from the 1970s and 1980s became players with Manchester City’s women’s team in its inaugural season of 1988-89. By that time the volume of women’s clubs, leagues and competitions had grown.
The Corinthians were true pioneers, promoting the sport globally at a time when many refused to accept that women could play football.
Updates appear here
Friends Of Fog Lane Park started crowdfunding
Leave a message of support
Sep 14, 2022
Well done, all those ladies who played for the Corinthians. Your achievements deserve to be recognised.
Aug 30, 2022
Good luck guys
Aug 17, 2022
Aug 7, 2022
Aug 2, 2022
Aug 1, 2022
Aug 1, 2022
Worth recognising pioneers. No stopping girls today ..we hope..
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