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British Ladies Club. Pioneras del cambio.

British Ladies Club. Pioneers of change.

There are ideas that revolutionize the evolution of history. Even simple gestures that alter the course for the good of society and its established norms. In 1984, a young woman under the pseudonym Nettie J. Honeyball placed an ad in The Daily Graphic newspaper calling for women who wanted to play soccer and at the same time do it in a club. Nothing would make young Nettie presage that this would entail something so big. Thirty women responded to that ad. At a time when soccer was played entirely by men, the idea for Honeyball tried to elevate the figure of women in soccer to something more than folkloric rituals.

Nettie's path began to take shape. She was a woman of strong convictions and it didn't take long for her to contact John William Julian -the first player to have played for Arsenal and Tottenham- to convince him to become the youngsters' coach. He gladly accepted. He became the coach and twice a week he would gather the team in a park to train. With the arrival of the coach, it was necessary to build the dome of what was to be built. A president was needed, in this case, a president.

The position ended up in the hands of Lady Florence Dixie, a journalist very involved with feminism, who always fought for the spirit of the game with heart and soul. What ended up being the club's motto was the first condition he imposed for the takeover of the club. Also, one of her ideals and goals was to make women's football popular.

The club managed to play its first game on March 23, 1895. It was played in London, specifically at Crouch End. Both sets faced each other in a duel where the north and south of the city were represented. There were no rivals so the team split up. The blue team captained by Nettie won 7-1.

Although the reception on the part of FIFA was positive, the truth is that on the part of society it was somewhat later. Comments ranged from the clothing to what they said was "little skill" on the part of the public. Despite the unfounded criticism, the game was attended by 10,000 spectators. Not to mention the reception it received from the press, who barely praised it, only destroyed in their opinions what the match had been, some media even said that they expected it to be the last match for British Ladies FC. The widespread machismo in the press did not stop the ambitions of the club, which ended up making a tour of England. In fact, several matches were for charity. After finishing this charity tour, the players resumed their lives. Not if before seeing how the FA, in a denigrating act, banned women's football.

Luckily, and although there is still a long way to go, women's football is part of our lives and we can enjoy the talent of some athletes who make the entire sports world happy with their passion, quality and greatness. Thanks to them for enhancing this sport on a daily basis and for contributing to a more equal world.

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