Discover the origins of the Lionesses that brought football home.
England's Lionesses are on the front and back pages; their stars feature on prime-time television; they are named in the national honours lists for their contribution to their sport and to society. The names of Lucy Bronze, Steph Houghton and Ellen White are emblazoned across the backs of children’s replica jerseys. These women are top athletes – and top celebrities. But in 1921, the Football Association introduced a ban on women’s football, pronouncing the sport 'quite unsuitable for females'.
That ban would last for half a century - but despite official prohibition the women’s game went underground. From the Dick, Kerr Ladies touring the world to the Lost Lionesses who played at the unsanctioned Women's World Cup in Mexico in 1971, generations of women defied the restrictions and laid the foundations for today's Lionesses - so much so that in 2018 England's Women’s Super League became the first fully professional league in Europe...when just a few decades previously women were forbidden to play the sport in England at all.
This book tells the story of women’s football in England since its 19th-century inception through pen portraits of its trailblazers. The game might have once been banned because of its popularity – find out about the subversive women who kept organising their teams and matches despite the prohibition, who broke barriers and set records – the legends of the game who built the foundations of the stage upon which today’s stars flourish.
'At what feels like a pivotal moment, Carrie’s forensic research and depth of knowledge make her the perfect person to guide us through the constantly changing landscape of women’s football' - Kelly Cates, TV presenter
"At what feels like a pivotal moment, Carrie’s forensic research and depth of knowledge make her the perfect person to guide us through the constantly changing landscape of women’s football." ~Kelly Cates, TV presenter
"One of the most talented and considered minds working in women’s football today." ~Carl Anka, The Athletic
The name of this book is taken from the reason given by the Football Association when it banned women from playing football in 1921. Carrie Dunn gives you a detailed look at that era in time and paints portraits of the trailblazers who built the foundations for today’s game' ~Goal.com - 12 best things to buy to celebrate the 2022 Women's European Championship
Carrie Dunn is someone with a real 360-view on women's football' ~Colin Murray, BBC Radio 5
When it comes to women’s football and the history of the Lionesses, Carrie always brings expertise at the back, amazing research in centre midfield and never misses up front when it comes to passion' ~Colin Murray, BBC Radio 5 Presenter and Writer
Her passion and erudition seep through every syllable' ~The Guardian
It now feels extraordinary how invisible women have been in the history of sport - gaps that are starting to fill like in the insightful work of Carrie Dunn's Unsuitable for Females. She does great job recreating the past, taking us to the present and raising questions. More of that please!' ~Guillem Balague, football broadcaster and expert
Carrie Dunn's passion for her subject is there on every page. A brilliantly researched and important book' ~Adrian Durham, football broadcaster and award-winning author
I've worked with Carrie and I know 'Unsuitable for Females' will be an insightful, enlightening, witty, and thought-provoking read' ~Ricky Hill, former England men's international
Carrie Dunn is an inspiration - she has been championing women in football for many years, through her research, teaching and journalism. Those recent converts to the joy of the women's game will find Carrie's work on the Lionesses' history gives rich context to this success' ~Jo Swinson, author of 'Equal Power' and former MP
Unsuitable for Females is far more than just a history book ... [it] is a triumph of storytelling and skilfully fills in some of those historical gaps from the sport that have remained unexplored for too long' ~Tim Stillman, football writer
Carrie is my go-to for anything concerning The Lionesses. She’s always got an anecdote or insight I’ve never heard or considered before. Impeccably researched, I implore you to read Unsuitable for Females from cover to cover' ~Lynsey Hooper, presenter and broadcaster
One of the leading voices in women's football' ~Mirror Sport
Just incredible ... it’s so interesting' ~Nicky Campbell, BBC Radio 5
A great book ... a remarkable story' ~BBC CWR (Coventry and Warwickshire), Breakfast Show
This book shows how women's football had to fight for its presence. It's extremely well written' ~Stuart Cosgrove, Off the Ball
A fantastic, really interesting history' ~Trisha Goddard
Recounting the troubled, shocking but ultimately immensely inspirational story of the women's game in England, Dunn's riveting book tells of the courageous female players who defied the half-century ban on women's football and the glorious rise of the Lionesses' ~Waterstones Online