This International Women’s Day we are ‘kicking off’ a new project looking at the stories of women football fans. Researcher Jacqueline McAssey tells us more-
“In 2013, to highlight the lack of visibility of female football fans, and to give them a sense of belonging in a predominantly male dominated environment I began photographing women and girls of all ages and ethnicities at football grounds in the U.K. At the end of each season I published the photographs in a fanzine called ‘GIRLFANS’ – most recently at Celtic FC in their double-treble winning season.
As the project developed I always enjoyed talking to supporters, particularly older women; season ticket holders who travelled home and away, who still wore football shirts and who knew everything about football. They told me of the deep bonds they had made with their club, their families and friends because of football, and I felt as though these stories and experiences had not been told before. In the race to attract new fans to football I often thought of them as the forgotten supporters; the over 40s, over 60s, over 80s even.
In a 2017 interview with Mundial Magazine I talked about a new sister project; a ‘prequel’ to the original photo-fanzine. This project, ‘GIRLFANS UNTOLD’ would document the experiences of older fans who watched football before the Premier League formed in 1992, or before England won the World Cup in 1966 – as far back as possible.
It is especially significant to be able to launch this project at the Museum of Liverpool, in a city where terrace culture, terrace style and the escapades of male fans have been well documented, and are still talked about today. In an attempt to redress the issue of womens’ experiences going unheard, ‘GIRLFANS UNTOLD’ is a collection of stories by life-long female supporters of Everton, Liverpool, Brighton & Hove Albion, Manchester City, West Bromwich Albion and Manchester United.”
On 9 March at our Girl fans kicking off event we will be showing some of the images Jacqui has already collected as well as showcasing some vintage football shirts from some favourite teams.
Kick-off is at 11am and Jacqui will be on hand to talk about her project and let you know how you can get involved. If your team has played at any point in the Premier League please come and share your experiences of what it means to be a female football fan with Jacqui.
‘GIRLFANS UNTOLD’ is supported by Liverpool John Moores University and Studio Dotto.
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