Could you tell us more about this photograph?
By Josh Zealand
Sheffield Hallam University history and journalism students are working on a project to help uncover stories of women in football ahead of this summer’s Euro 2022 tournament, which will be held in England.
Sheffield has been chosen as one of nine host cities that will stage the event.
The photo, taken way back in 1875, is of the Sheffield representative football team and is thought to be the world’s first football photograph featuring women – and the first photo of a football team in a newspaper.
It first appeared in the Sheffield Portrait Gallery, A Journal of Literature, Science, and Art, published by Martin Hurst.
The image was a real photo stuck on to the front of the newspaper which readers could peel off and keep.
It is believed to have been taken before a match played against a Birmingham representative team on November 20, 1875, at Bramall Lane, in front of 2,000 fans.
The event was held to raise funds for the Sheffield Football Players Accident Society and while the names of the men involved are known, nobody knows who the women are, or why they are in the photo.
John Wilson, trustee of the Sheffield Home of Football campaign, said: “The picture is really intriguing, and we would love to know who these women were and what connection they had with the team. Were they, perhaps, the first female managers or coaches?
“There is probably someone in the city who is a descendent of them and may recognise them from an old family photo album.”
Bramall Lane will stage three group games at Euro 2022 as well as the semi-final for England’s side of the draw, meaning the Lionesses – who are likely to include former Blades pair Millie Bright and Ellie Roebuck in their team – could play in Sheffield.
Three group-stage matches and a quarter-final clash will also take place at Rotherham United’s New York Stadium.
Sheffield is also set to host the national teams of Sweden and current European champions Holland throughout the tournament.
Anyone with information about the photo should email J.P.Wilson@Sheffield.ac.uk.