MANCHESTER CORINTHIANS SHIRT: 1958

Continuing our exhibition highlighting some of the women who played football in Trafford, today’s focus is on a shirt worn by one of the Manchester Corinthians.

Previously we have discussed the pioneering women’s football team the Manchester Corinthians and their appearances at the Stretford Pageant. The Corinthians played frequently within Trafford, including games at White City and Altrincham.

They were established in 1949 and, as part of our physical exhibition at our local studies centre in Sale, we have on display a football shirt worn by Margaret Shepherd, a longstanding member of the Corinthians.

By the time this shirt was made the Corinthians had participated in several significant tours outside of the UK, including a trip to Germany in 1957 where they played as an unofficial England against German teams in Berlin and Stuttgart.

The match in Berlin saw the Corinthians win 4-0 in the final of a European championship. These games are not officially recognised as full internationals, but no one should underestimate the achievements of those Manchester women who took part. At the time they occurred they were full-blooded affairs with some moments caught on film.

Margaret Hilton, who now lives in Australia, remembers: “Bert Trautmann, the City ‘keeper, joined us on a tour of Germany. He acted as an ambassador and watched some of our games. We saw him around but I was too shy to chat to him. It was great having that recognition and support.”

Another member of the group, Anne Grimes, felt that winning in Germany in 1957 encouraged the club to make further trips abroad and to play in major stadia. 50,000 watched them in a game at Benfica in 1957 and, as can be seen by this shirt, both the names of Portugal and Germany were embroidered on the shirts. In addition the tours they undertook in 1958 to Madeira and Holland are also recorded.

The games played in the Netherlands are interesting as Dutch newspapers predominantly recorded the team’s name as Manchester United. The tour was staged only a few months after the Munich Air Crash and it may be that this was seen as a tribute to those Manchester United players who died in the crash.

The shirt shown here is part of Margaret Shepherd’s collection and she has loaned it to the National Football Museum who have, in turn, loaned it for our display. It is on display alongside other objects until 20th July 2022 at Trafford Local Studies, Trafford Council, Waterside House, Sale. M33 7ZF.

Manchester Corinthian Ladies Shirt

Manchester Corinthian Ladies F.C Shirt, 1958. National Football Museum, cat. ref. PRSFM:2018.2785

Manchester Corinthian Ladies Football Club Shirt

Manchester Corinthian Ladies F.C Shirt, 1958. National Football Museum, cat. ref. PRSFM:2018.2785

We are keen to hear about those who have contributed to this rich history of women’s football in the area. If you are from Trafford or played for a team based in our borough then please get in touch.

Your memories will help to develop our archive and ensure future generations are aware of the experiences of women footballers.

In addition, we are keen to locate objects, match programmes and memorabilia associated with women’s football, so if you have an item that you feel may help please get in touch.

If you would like to help Trafford Council to tell this story, please contact Trafford Local Studies on 0161 912 3013 or contact Gary James, Trafford EUROs Engagement Officer at gary.james@talktalk.net

This project is part of a National Lottery heritage programme which seeks to bring this history into the light through a number of physical and virtual exhibitions, and to create a documentary record of the game at this moment, through oral history interviews with local players and fans and a contemporary collecting programme.

MANCHESTER CORINTHIANS SHIRT: 1958