FOOTBALL’S first female football superstar Lily Parr is set to get a new permanent museum gallery dedicated to her life and legacy.

The National Football Museum will celebrate Lily Parr – England’s first international women’s footballer – by creating a gallery to the player inside the museum. The news comes exactly a year after the museum unveiled a statue to Lily – the first statue ever for a female footballer.

St Helens Star:

Dick Kerr Ladies Postcard - Lily Parr front holding football

Parr, who died in 1978 aged 73, scored more than 980 goals in her 32 year career and was the first woman to feature in the museum’s Football Hall of Fame in 2002. Born in 1905, she was known for her cannonball shot. By 14 Parr, who grew up in Gerards Bridge, proved a standout footballer at St Helens Ladies and her performances caught the eye of Albert Frankland, manager of the Dick Kerr’s team.

The Dick Kerr team was made up of female workers from a munitions factory and Lily became the star player.

St Helens Star:

In the 20s women’s games drew crowds of 60,000 and helped raise money for post First World War charities in a brief golden era. However, despite the popularity, opposition arose and the FA moved to ban the game from grounds.

Off the field, Parr trained as a nurse and worked in Preston's Whittingham psychiatric hospital.

The new gallery has been made possible thanks to a £55,440.00 grant from the Association of Independent Museums (AIM) Biffa Award, which gives grants to museums and heritage organisations to help tell stories of lesser-known historical figures through its History Makers Scheme. The new gallery will explore Parr’s career and will open early in 2021 to coincide with the Football Association ban on women’s football exactly a century ago.

St Helens Star:

Parr and many other women, defied authority and continued to play, helping the women’s game to survive.

Belinda Scarlett, curator of Women’s Football at the National Football Museum said: “We are thrilled to benefit from the AIM Biffa award which will enable us to create a new museum gallery dedicated to Lily Parr and her achievements.

“I think that people may have heard the name Lily Parr and that she played football. But many have no real understanding of her dramatic story or influence. And more importantly, how her story fits into the narrative of women’s football.

“The impact and legacy of women like Lily on the development of women’s football regionally, nationally and internationally, is highly significant and under-represented.

“We unveiled a statue to Lily Parr at the museum last year. The AIM Biffa Award funding will enable us, in a sense, to bring this statue and her story to life.”

Emma Chaplin, Director of AIM, commented: “The purpose of the AIM Biffa Award History Makers programme is to inspire people through the lives and achievements of extraordinary historical figures. We’re pleased to support the National Football Museum in opening a permanent gallery dedicated to the influential life of Lily Parr.”

St Helens Star:

Rachel Maidment, Biffa Award Grants Manager, said: “It is a privilege to be able to support the National Football Museum in their quest to tell the story of remarkable sportswoman Lily Parr who was an inspiration to generations both on and off the field. We can’t wait to see this exciting gallery when it is completed in 2021.”

The National Football Museum wants to hear from people who love women’s football and want to get involved in the creation of content for the new gallery or people who know alot about Lily Parr. To get in touch email