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12 Record-Breaking Womens Football Facts

GOoOoOaL! Check out these top-scoring footy facts for 12 reasons why and how women's football just keeps getting better and better!

Beano Team
Last Updated:  February 8th 2024

Women's football is on the up! Every year the profile of the women's game gets better and better, and more and more women and girls are being inspired to play the beautiful game. But women's football isn't a recent thing - it's as old as the game itself! So check out this list of 12 amazing women's football facts to see how far we've come, and where we might be heading!

Loking for more fantastic football facts? Check out these brilliant Brazilian footy facts, these splendid Spanish football facts, or even these top 12 Gareth Southgate facts!

1. Ancient origins

Palace Museum via

Most people think of football as an English game - but the first recorded football game was actually played in Ancient China, about 2,300 years ago! The game of cuju was invented by Emperors and was often used to help train soldiers. Even from way back then there's recorded evidence of women playing the game, and Han Dynasty paintings show women tackling each other with their hair tied up! So women have been playing football thousands of years before English Association Football even started!

2. Footy as we know it

Women's football, like the men's version, has deep historical roots - but it took a long time to gain recognition and popularity. When modern football started though, women were involved from the start. In 1881, the first recorded match was held - between a team of English and Scottish players! The match was billed "England vs Scotland" and it drew a lot of attention at the time! Scotland won, by the way!

3. The BLFC

The BLFC was the British Ladies' Football Club, and it was formed in 1895 in London. The President of the club was Lady Florence Dixie, who brought in shin pads and proper football boots for the players. In their first year the BLFC staged a North Vs South of The Thames match, which attracted 10,000 paying spectators! The score? 7 - 1 to the North!

4. World War 1

Whilst the men were all off in Europe fighting with each other, women's football had a resurgence during the first world war. As the women worked in the factories, the industrial North soon became a hotbed for women's footy. Teams were started, leagues emerged, and things were looking up. Matches drew big crowds too, with thousands watching the match in Preston in 1917!

5. But then... men happened

Once WW1 ended and the men wanted "their" game back, the FA banned women from football, saying it was "unsuitable". This was nonsense then, and it's nonsense now! Women were banned from all proper matches, and for a really long time women were forced to out of the stadiums and back to just practising in parks. Boo!

6. 50 years of hurt

This ridiculous state carried on for an unbelievable 50 years - and it wasn't unti 1971 that FIFA reversed the ban and finally allowed women back into professional football. And it only happened because people were willing to break the rules and set up their own women's footballing groups. These pioneering women deserve all the credit for eventually forcing the FA to back down.

7. The first ever international match!

The newly-formed Womens FA didn't hang about, and the year after the first official international match was held between England and Scotland. The English won the game 3 - 2, avenging the loss that took place 91 years earlier. During the 1970s, '80s and early '90s, the WFA continued to grow the women's game.

8. Record breakers

Women footballers have smashed plenty of records, but a very special one was broken in 2022. A match at the Camp Nou stadium in Spain saw 91,553 fans watch a women's match, Barcelona vs their rivals Real Madrid. The game was FC Barcelona women’s first appearance at the stadium, and they pulled off an amazing win beating Real Madrid 5-2! This is the biggest crowd at a women's match (so far) and much much more than the crowd from 10 days earlier, when the Real Madrid and FC Barcelona men’s teams had played! They only got a measly 60,000 people to watch them!

9. Euros

Also in 2022 (clearly a good year for football) the Lionesses won the Euro 22 cup! They beat Germany at their home stadium of Wembley, watched by 87,000 people. In the UK this was an amazing moment that will be remembered for a long time, and really boosted the pride and prestige of women's football in the UK.

10. Legendary goal scorers

CBC Sports | Youtube

The Canadian striker Christine Sinclair holds the goalscoring record in both men’s and women’s international football. She has held it since scoring twice in the first 23 minutes of Canada’s 2020 match against St Kitts & Nevis, which her side went on to win 11-0. In 2022, she scored her 189th goal in 310 matches. We can compare this to the highest men’s goal scorer, Cristiano Ronaldo, with 117 international goals for Portugal. Not far behind is another top goal-scorer, Marta from Brazil - who is well-known as one of the greatest footballers of all time. So there are a lot of record-breaking women out there!

11. Still not equal

Despite all the progress over the last 100 years, women's football still isn't as well funded, or often as well respected, as men's football. A bit cultural shift is happening, but if you compare how much women get paid to play football and how much men get paid - you can quite easily see there's still a problem. This was take time to change, but it must and... it will!

12. Women's football is here to stay

These facts show how women's football has gone through a lot of ups and downs over the years. But even though things are on the up, history shows that things can change very quickly. Women's football is only as big as the fans make it - so the louder we cheer and the more games we go to watch, the bigger and better women's football will become!