The amazing story of The Lost Lionesses, the women who played in the 1971 World Cup in Mexico and were banned from playing when they returned.

This video interview by Ella Williams, follows on from her previous interview with links at the end of this article

In 1971, Mexico hosted a World Cup contested by England, Argentina, Italy, France, Denmark and Mexico. At the time, women’s football was in it’s final year of a 50-year long ban in England. Because of this, no official team was put forward to represent the country in the tournament. Harry Batt, women’s football champion and trailblazer, brought together a group of girls and women to make England’s participation in the tournament possible.

From the moment the players arrived in Mexico, they were met with utter adoration and excitement from the Mexican people. They were, rightfully so, stars. The tournament, held partly in the Estadio Azteca, saw massive crowds with the final match reaching a record-breaking 110,000 fans. This stands somewhat in contrast to our players’ reception when arriving back in England. There was no news coverage of the tournament, no photographers, no interviews, no mention in assembly for the youngest players who were just 13 years old. Yet, more significantly than this, the women who flew out to represent their country were all individually banned from playing football by the FA.

Harry Batt, the man who made this all possible, got a lifetime ban.

The team went their separate ways, some continued to play and some did not, and they lost touch and didn’t speak of their experiences for 50 years. Until now.

Click on the link HERE to watch their story unfold


Previous interviews with 1971 Women’s World Cup by Ella Williams –

Part 1 –    Part 2 –      Part 3 –        Part 4 –