1971 to 1975The re-introduction of the Women's game!Exeter City
In 1971 after pressure from the Women’s Football Association and UEFA, The FA lifted it's 50 year ban on Women's Football, however the 'troubles' were far from over.
A member of the Southampton team who won the first Women's FA Cup in 1971 is hoping to find the missing trophy for the National Football Museum.
The trophy is thought to have been lost in the late 1970s, with a new version introduced for later competitions.
Sue Lopez was in the side which beat Scottish club Stewarton & Thistle 4-1 to win the-then Mitre Challenge Trophy.
"We hope it's still around. I'm on a mission for the National Football Museum to try and find the original so that the museum can have it."
Southampton won eight of the first 11 Women's FA Cup finals, but it is not known whether the trophy is with one of the Saints players. By, 1976, 70 teams from England and Wales had entered the competition.
In Devon and Exeter
The Devon County Women's League started it’s first competitive season with six teams. They were: Exeter City, West-Exe, Lympstone, Nat.West Bank, Torbay, and Tiverton. Although strictly a women's league it was, perhaps not, strange to note that only two women, Trina Lake and Sandra Battishill held places on the executive committee.
Trina, who played for Tiverton, at that time, later to play for Exeter was the League's fixtures secretary and Sandra who was a secretary of Nat. West Bank SF.C. was the League's financial controller. The other positions were held by men.
Tiverton Town shared the men's pitch, as did Westexe, with the Westexe men's club; Lympstone made their home at Budleigh Salterton, while Torbay played at Brixham. Exeter City, used the Wyvern Barrack’s ground in Topsham Road where they played Sunday afternoon games. The Nat West Bank played at Duckes Meadow. Salmon Pool Lane.
It was hoped that following season a few more teams would join the league, as Polperro and Chard have shown an interest.
They were Dean Trophy Winners in 1975/76, 1976/77 and 1977/78 and were also Salvidge Youth Cup Winners in 1977/78.
In 1977/78 and 1980/81, Exeter reached the final of the Pat Sowden Trophy, but lost both finals.
In 5 a-side Exeter won the Heavitree 5's in 1980, having won the Dawlish 5's in 1979. They reached the final of the Pelynt 5's in 1980 and the Heavitree 5's in 1981. In 1982 they were finalists in the Crewe and Western League 5's.
And in May 2nd 1978 England beat Eire at St James Park 6-1, with goals from Lopez 2, Foreman 2, Day and Dobb.
A sliver tankard commemorating the Women's friendly International game between England and Eire held at St James Park.
In modern times, the England Women's team was first governed by The Women's Football Association which was formed in 1969 following an upsurge in interest in the sport after 1966, and since 1993 by The Football Association.
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