When the Football Feminine is Occasionally Prominent

January 1907

Sheffield Evening Telegraph January 10, 1907

In a game where “mere man” is thoroughly at home, wonderful woman makes an appearance in a less conspicuous manner. She watches to some purpose. Her glory, on football field, lies not in her hair, but she and her tongue, which quickly and readily commands the attention due to her sex. She is invariably an out and out partisan, and as such does not forget to make her presence felt. “It’s not exactly what she says, but the nasty way she says it” that lends piquancy to her criticisms. The football feminine is occasionally prominent, and the spectators in their vicinity get full value for their gate money.

At Mexborough, some years back, when the old Town team touched a high pinnacle of football fame, the mother of a popular player, who afterwards wore an international cap, was invariably conspicuous in her strenuous approval or condemnation of incidents of the game. Indeed, on one occasion, her partisan ship led her to heartily belabour a player with her umbrella, an incident that is still recording reminiscences of local football.

At Denaby, too, the structure that does duty for a grandstand is often the scene of amusing “episodes.” At one match when Denaby United failed to score, a big limbed woman tossed her shawl from off her head and shouted, “Go whoam and lake at tors, I’ll tak on t’lot mysen.”

On Monday last, on the same ground where Denaby and Kilnhurst fought out their replayed Sheffield Challenge Cup Tie, a petticoated supporter of the “Wasps” dominated all the other occupants of the stand.

During the half-hour Denaby’s supremacy and the brilliancy of Bartlett in the Kilnhurst goal, she showed tact in seizing upon the only bright bit of the Kilnhurst picture.

Whenever Bartlett saved the shot she turned round and triumphantly challenged – “Ain’t he a beauty? He can beat you all single-handed.”

Her enthusiam grew visibly in the second half, when Kilnhurst were fully holding their own. “Play up my Bonnie pets,” she yelled, “we’ll show ‘em round yet.”

When Eyre scored and gave Denaby the victory in the closing minutes, a quiet man nearby ventured to remark, “What do you think of that?”

Almost speechless with indignation and disappointment, she disappeared with her last shot, “You ain’t a’going to pull my leg.”

Diversion is certainly not confined to the actual playing of football, which is as it should be.