Hawick clothing firm joins forces with team it sponsors for film celebrating women's football

Hawick clothing company Lyle and Scott has joined forces with a women’s team it sponsors to produce a short film celebrating the female game.

By Darin Hutson
Tuesday, 9th March 2021, 9:22 am
Lewes footballers wearing shirts sponsored by Hawick firm Lyle and Scott
Lewes footballers wearing shirts sponsored by Hawick firm Lyle and Scott

The Liddesdale Road firm and East Sussex team Lewes marked International Women’s Day yesterday, March 8, by putting together a two-minute-plus film, presented by club director Claire Rafferty, chronicling the Football Association outlawing the women’s game 100 years ago come December after branding it “quite unsuitable for females”, only eventually lifting that ban in 1971.

Rafferty, 32, capped 18 times by England’s women’s team between 2010 and 2017, said: “It’s been a thought-provoking experience to dig deeper into the history of women’s football in England.

“I think a huge majority of football fans have no idea that this ban was ever in place, why it was introduced or that it lasted so long.

“It’s almost impossible to calculate the true cost of the damage it did to the development of the women’s game, but there is no doubt, the gap in resources, revenues and opportunities would be far more equal if it had never been in place."

Lyle and Scott agreed a six-figure sponsorship deal with Lewes in December, the largest ever for an English women’s team not affiliated to a men’s Premier League side.

A spokesperson for the firm said: “Our collaboration with Lewes goes beyond just being a sponsor.

“It's an opportunity to tell their story, to help them reach their goals and show the world the outstanding work they are doing to promote equality and make a change.

“With our investment, the women's team has welcomed four new players, gained access to additional physio support for quicker recovery and have started refurbishing their grounds and facilities, and this is just the beginning.”

The film can be seen on YouTube at https://youtu.be/AMIvghJuqhw