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LGBTQ+ History Month profile: Lily Parr

LGBTQ+ History Month

Throughout this month, we'll be shining the spotlight on the official faces of LGBTQ+ History Month 2021. I want to highlight what was achieved by these important historical figures, who would have not had the recognition and awareness that they originally deserved. I think it is really important to highlight the challenges that the LGBTQ+ community have endured in their past, in order to help understand and support the modern community that continues to thrive today. Even if all people learn is a new name, a definition, or a whole story, then The SU is actively supporting the steps to move forward.

Who is Lily Parr?

Parr was an English professional women's association football player. Born on 26 April 1905, she was best known for playing for the Dick, Kerr's Ladies team based in Preston, Lancashire, which was founded in 1917. The Football Association banned women from playing on their member grounds in 1921 despite the growing success of ladies football teams. However, many women, such as Parr, continued to play on village greens and other non-associated land. The Dick, Kerr Ladies toured North America in 1922 following the English ban. Banned again on their arrival in Canada, they toured the US and played nine games. They won three, drew three, and lost three against the top division men's teams.

She lived with her partner, Mary, and since her death in 1978 she has become an LGBT rights icon. It was not until another 24 years later, in 2002, that she became the only woman to be made an inaugural inductee into the English Football Hall of Fame at the National Football Museum.

Lily Parr, professional women's football player and LGBT rights icon


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