Lancashire

Lily Parr: Plans for first statue of women's football star

The Dick Kerr Ladies team Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Lily Parr started her career as a full back before becoming a prolific goal scorer

One of the first stars of English women's football is to be immortalised with a life-sized statue.

The sculpture of Lily Parr, who played professionally in the 1920s, will be unveiled at the National Football Museum in Manchester in June.

Parr, who died in 1978 aged 73, was the first woman to feature in the museum's Football Hall of Fame in 2002.

A spokeswoman for the Football Association said: "She deserves recognition as a true pioneer."

She added: "It's only fitting that she takes her place alongside other football legends and becomes the first woman to be celebrated with a statue in her honour."

Fact file: Lily Parr

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Lily Parr in training for Dick, Kerr Ladies FC, which was founded by Dick, Kerr & Co locomotive factory
  • Played in the first recognised women's international match between England and France when Lancashire team Dick, Kerr Ladies FC, representing England, won 4-0 in 1920.
  • Along with three other members of the team, she also beat the American Women's Olympic team in a relay race in 1922.
  • Scored 986 goals in a career which lasted 32 years and also featured spells with St Helens Ladies and Preston Ladies.

Source: National Football Museum

Born in St Helens, then part of Lancashire, Parr began her career at St Helens Ladies in 1919 and a year later joined Dick, Kerr Ladies, the Preston-based team founded by the Dick, Kerr & Co locomotive factory.

The 6ft chain-smoker, whose wages were reputedly supplemented by packets of Woodbine cigarettes, started out as a full back but later became a goal-scoring left winger.

She netted 108 goals in her first season with Dick, Kerr Ladies and was known for her powerful left foot shot.

Away from football, Parr trained as a nurse and worked in Preston's Whittingham psychiatric hospital.

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