Sports Gazette

by sports journalism students at St Mary's University, London

Mexico 1971: The hidden history of women’s football

Posted on 27 May 2022 by Ruby Malone


FIFA records show that the first Women’s World Cup took place in China in 1991, but many are unaware that Mexico saw crowds of 90,000 pack into their Azteca Stadium to witness an ‘unofficial’ Women’s World Cup back in 1971.

The story of the English team that took part was lost to the nation for over four decades and is absent from official records.

Leah Caleb, one of the English women who went out to Mexico with the team, reminisces about the incredible experience with Sports Gazette reporter, Ruby Malone, in this atmospheric, story-telling podcast.

To read more about the history of women’s football, including the FA’s 1921 ban and the pioneers who fought for it to be lifted, click here.

For the Apple podcast link, click here.


Short excerpt of Chris Lockwood’s interview from the National Football Museum’s YouTube channel episode England at the 1971 ‘Women’s World Cup’.
Music and audio AdobeStock, royalty-free.