Here are some of the women who played just before and after the 2nd World War. Their profiles have been put together as a result of my research and personal interviews. More information about them can be found in my book, In a League of Their Own!
Joan Whalley was born in Preston in 1921 and she was probably one of the best women footballer's of her time. She went to school with a young boy named Tom Finney and the two could often be seen playing football together on the local park. They both had their own dreams of playing football when they grew up. Tom wanted to play for Preston North End, and Joan's ambition was to play for the Dick, Kerr Ladies. Tom Finney did become a star for PNE and England and Joan's dream was realised too when she made her debut for her team on Coronation Day,12 May 1937.
Joan Burke began playing for the Dick, Kerr Ladies in 1939 when she was fourteen years old. She was kicking a ball about more or less as soon as she could walk, she used to run rings around her brothers and all the lads in the area wanted her on their team!
Nancy Thomson started her career with the Dick, Kerr Ladies just before the outbreak of the 2nd World War. She came as a guest player during the Belgian teams tour and ended up staying for fifteen years!
Edna Broughton made her debut for the team in August 1946 when she was fifteen years old. Standing only 5 feet tall and playing in the centre forward position she was always in the thick of the play and she played some beautiful football.
June Gregson began her football career with the Dick, Kerr Ladies in 1950. When she made it into the side she initially played outfield and scored her first goal in a 2-0 defeat of Barnsley in May of 1951. In 1953 she moved to goalkeeper and would remain as the 'last man' for the rest of her time with the team.
Jean Lane played for the Dick, Kerr Ladies from 1950-1965. She scored her first goal in a 4-2 victory against Wythenshawe. She was a brave and gifted footballer and her family were very proud of her achievements with the team and would often go to watch her play. She was a regular goal scorer and was extremely proud to be a Dick, Kerr Player and remained so for the rest of her life.
You can read more about these wonderful ladies and some of their life stories, in my book, In a League of Their Own!