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Girls With Balls: The Secret History of Women's Football

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  35 ratings  ·  9 reviews
Boxing Day 1920, and 53,000 men, women and children pack inside Goodison Park. The extraordinary crowds have come to watch two local rivals play a match for charity. But this is no ordinary charity fixture. Eleven of the players are international celebrities and their team is the biggest draw in British—and world—football. Yet they are all full-time factory workers—and the ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published October 1st 2013 by John Blake (first published January 1st 2013)
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Rosemary Kind
Jan 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is well worth reading whether you are interested in football or not.
Adam Stone
Aug 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Girls With Balls is a highly interesting and entertaining read for many reasons. It is partly about female emancipation, partly about football, but all about people playing football for the love of the game and not for the money which seems to be the case nowadays with most footballers, or at least the players in the premier league as a rule.

The book is full of interesting characters such as the redoubtable Nettie Honeyball who sounds more like a James Bond girl than a pioneer of women's footba
May 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
I am NOT a football fan. I think the hype and general venerabilisation of the highest paid players is utterly ridiculous.
However, I attended an utterly fascinating talk called No Petticoats Here about women's roles in the Great War last November at a local library. And during this event I learnt that women, whom I knew had played football matches for charitable purposes during the conflict, and the very fact of women playing football, packing out whole stadiums and raising (by modern standards)
Alistair Watson
May 14, 2018 rated it liked it
This is a very strange book.

In some ways, the history is excellent: Tim Tate has completed lots of good research, including (it seems) original research of provincial newspapers, and he brings this all together through an often engaging and humorous narrative.

At the same time, the book seems incredibly sloppy: there are no references to any works/sources at all (except for an absurdly short reading list on the final page), the book contains a number of typos, and - bizarrely - has several runs o
Apr 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Really a fascinating book. And a little heartbreaking. And maddening.
This book tells the story of women's football in England and how it so threatened the FA that it was effectively banned for decades. The author sets the tone by illustrating the prevailing attitudes toward women in general at the end of the 19th century, then the backdrop of the First World War on the British home front. The story of the women and men involved was interesting and inspiring. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and i
Richard Moore
Oct 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
As a football fan and someone with a passing interest in womens football I found this to be a fascinating insight into not only women's football, but football and popular culture in general during the early 20th century. The fight for equality in sport during a time of rank chauvinism and archaic ideals is both expected and quite shocking in equal measure.

Some great characters are described and discussed and I genuinely think that the 'Dick Kerrs Ladies Football Team' and their adventures would
Nov 06, 2016 rated it liked it
Girls With Balls tells the history of women’s football in England, that centres around the story of the famous Dick, Kerr Ladies. The author, Tim Tate admits he is a follower of rugby union and not the round ball game. Unfortunately for the football fan this shows in his writing. Maybe he should have done a bit better research, or left it to someone who knows about the history of the game. There are a number of ‘not quite right’ passages in the book. It doesn’t help that for a lot of the infor ...more
Jul 20, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Disappointing account of such an interesting subject matter. Lazily-written, barely referenced, and oddly-paced.
Dec 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
An enjoyable read which adds to the mounting literature surrounding women's football and the Dick, Kerr's Ladies. The author was not afraid to air his own somewhat pithy views at times and I think I now have some fresh ideas to expand upon and do some rewriting of my play, 'Not a Game for Girls' especially the section covering the effective banning of women's football in December 1921 by the short sighted FA. ...more
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Tim Tate is a multiple award-winning British documentary film-maker and bestselling author.

His films - mostly investigative, always campaigning - have been honoured by Amnesty International, the Royal Television Society, UNESCO, The Association for International Broadcasting, The International Documentary Association, the New York Festivals and the US National Academy of Cable Programming. He ofte

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