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HULL PEOPLE: do you know these women? 1968 Hull KR Seven-a-Side Young Supporters’ Club Ladies Sought

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Women who played rugby league for Hull Kingston Rovers Young Supporters’ Club in 1968 are being asked to contribute their stories to a new history of women’s involvement with rugby league.

The call for help locating these women has been put out by historian Dr Victoria Dawson, an honorary researcher at University College London, who is writing a book about the history of women and rugby league since the nineteenth century.  

Victoria explained: “The seven women pictured here played at least one match, against a Halifax team on 17 September 1968. This is the first women’s match featuring a team from Hull and possibly only the second time women had played the game in its history.

“I hope to interview as many of these women as possible so that their place in the game can be recognized, because it was very unusual. They were ahead of their time, because women didn’t start playing rugby league seriously until 1980.

“I’d like to ask them why they started playing, whether they faced any opposition, and what place rugby league has had over the course of their lives.

Whilst much has been written about the man’s game and its history, women’s experiences have not been documented.

“Women have made huge contribution to the sport of rugby league, and the Hull KR women deserve to have their stories told as part of that history,” said Victoria.

The women who played were: Gillian Smith, Lesley Fieldhouse, Lyn Branton, June Watson, Barbara Jones, Ann Winder and Barbara Snowdon.

Victoria would also like to speak to anyone else involved, or anyone who remembers watching the women play.

If you would like to contribute, or want more information, please contact Victoria Dawson by emailing Victoria.Dawson@ucl.ac.uk or call/text Victoria on 07902 596116.



A little sincerity is a dangerous thing, and a great deal of it is absolutely fatal. ~ Oscar Wilde

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