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Women & Football Exhibition

Women & Foot­ball is a new exhi­bi­tion by artist Jil­ly Evans, which explores the major themes of wom­ens foot­ball, com­mu­ni­ty and cre­ative collaboration

This Summer, Southampton was proud to be one of nine host cities for the UEFA Women’s Euros 2022, inspiring SeaCity Museum to explore the history of women’s football.

Local artist Jilly Evans visited Knit & Knatter groups at Southampton libraries and ran drop-in sessions at SeaCity to talk about women’s hidden histories, with a particular focus on football – Southampton has a history of women’s football that spans over 100 years. Did you know Southampton women’s team won the first Women’s FA cup in 1971 and went on to win again in 1972, 1973, 1975, 1976, 1978, 1979 and 1981? We were lucky to have ex-players from the 1970s Southampton football teams come along to these groups to talk about their experiences as women footballers. Jilly wrote a pattern for football scarves, which participants knitted and donated to the exhibition, and Jilly knitted her own version of the scarf highlighting the success of these women which, like many women’s stories, had previously remained invisible. Alex Lyons, Assistant Curator of Maritime & Local History Collections at Southampton museums, and oral historian Padmini Broomfield also joined some sessions.

We are hosting a special launch event at the Hidden Wardrobe on Friday 14th October from 6pm – 8pm. Find out more and book your free ticket here

A big thank you goes out to the amazing community of knitters in Southampton, including those from Portswood, Weston and Woolston Library Knit and Knatter groups, for all their hard work in knitting their own versions of a football scarf from Jilly’s pattern – without them this exhibition would not have been possible.

If you would like to find out more about the history of women’s football in Southampton, please visit SeaCity Museum where a display highlighting their stories is available until November 2022.