Arsenal’s Leah Williamson releasing fiction book about the women’s football ban 1921-1971

Arsenal’s Leah Williamson releasing fiction book about the women’s football ban 1921-1971 by Michelle

26 year old Leah Williamson is a real success story from Arsenal’s Centre of Excellence, and is one of football’s finest ball-playing defenders in the world. Leah captained England Lionesses to victory in the final against Germany in Euro 2022, and was rewarded with an OBE (Order of the British Empire) in the New New Years Honours list.

Leah launched her first book at the end of March, written with journalist Suzy Wrack, You Have the Power is filled with stories from Leah’s own life and tons of brilliant advice, to show young girls how to find their strength and empower them to follow their dreams.

Leah is now embarking on her first fiction book, all about the women’s football ban between 1921-1971. It’s called ‘The Wonder Team and the Forgotten Footballers’ and will be released 31st August 2023. Leah’s book is inspired by women who fought the football ban during those years.

In the 1910s, women’s football in the UK experienced a remarkable upswing in popularity that extended beyond World War I and into the 1920s. Women’s matches during this era drew in large crowds, with renowned teams attracting tens of thousands of spectators. These matches frequently served charitable purposes, raising substantial sums of money. The game’s burgeoning success reached a point where interest rivaled that of men’s football.

The growth and achievements of women’s football were met with suspicion by The Football Association (FA), and perceived as a potential threat to the profits of men’s football, especially after announcing an ambitious expansion of the men’s English Football League in 1920. Additionally, the FA had limited control over the financial aspects of women’s matches and disapproved of charity matches that supported workers involved in strikes.

On December 5, 1921, the FA implemented a ban on women’s football, arguing that “the game of football is quite unsuitable for females and should not be encouraged.” alleging that “an excessive proportion of the receipts are absorbed in expenses and an inadequate percentage devoted to charitable objects.” When women’s teams attempted to arrange matches on non-football grounds like cricket or rugby fields, the FA pressured the governing bodies of those venues to refuse permission to women’s football.

In 1969, the Women’s Football Association was formed with representatives of over 40 different independent clubs. In 1971, the FA announced that the ban on women’s football would be lifted. The WFA would formally affiliate itself to the FA in 1983, and in 1993, the FA took over direct responsibility for women’s football. It took until 2008 for the FA issued a formal apology for the ban..

Leah was devastated by a serious season-ending ACL rupture in April 2023 – she was ready to captain the Lionesses in this summer’s Women’s World Cup 2023 in Australia and New Zealand, but her injury forced her withdrawal. Leah is unlikely to return to the pitch before the second-half of the 2023-24 season.

Have you read Leah’s You Have the Power book? Leah regularly shares tweets on her Twitter account, from fans inspired by reading her book.

Michelle Maxwell
Follow Michelle on Just Gooner Women on Twitter for regular updates on the Arsenal Womens Team!

Do you want to read more about the Arsenal Women’s Team? Click here….

Tags Leah Williamson


  1. Maybe one of thr finest female ball playing defenders. A bit of a farce to claim one of the finest ball playing defenders which therefore includes male counterparts.

    Also what evidence suggests this?

    Rather stick to FACTS!

  2. what a complete woman. professional player and author already at 26. very clever footballer and mature minded capitaincy

Comments are closed

Top Blog Sponsors