Presented by Associate Professor Rob Hess, College of Sport and Exercise Science, Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia.  Filmed during the 2018 SpLeisH 4th International Sport & Leisure History Colloquium held at Manchester Metropolitan University, Cheshire Campus on 2/3rd March. 

Rob’s talk was sponsored by Manchester Metropolitan University, Cheshire International, Research and Knowledge Exchange.



Academic interest in the history of women’s football is burgeoning. This attention is not only apparent in a growing number of articles, books, and postgraduate theses dealing with studies in and across all the world’s major codes, but it is also evident in recent exhibitions and displays of material culture associated with the women’s game. However, the documentation of women’s football is still in its infancy and there remain substantial gaps in the theory, knowledge and understandings of when, why and how the various codes of women’s football emerged, developed and sometimes stagnated in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The main focus of this lecture revolves around a major case study drawn from the recollections and memorabilia of a Myra MacKenzie, a participant with the Carlton Ladies Football Club in 1933. The particular code in question is Australian Rules football, and observations related to the sometimes problematic and ‘hidden’ nature of biographical evidence associated with female footballers will be used to draw conclusions, provoke discussion and set challenges relevant to all scholars in the sport history community.

Article © Rob Hess