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Women in Rugby League

A Rugby League SMART Gallery sharing stories of women in rugby league

Women in Rugby League 1950 to present day, is inspired by Ref! a play, written by Sarah Jane Dickenson, about Hull born Julia Lee who became the first woman to referee a men’s rugby match of any code in 1991.

The participants co-curate an exhibition of memories and artefacts, collected through workshops and hosted on this Rugby League SMART (Social Museum and Art) Gallery website allowing the stories and histories to be shared.

Ref; Crossing the Line is a collaborative project involving Julia Lee’s social enterprise, Commonsense Initiative, Helen Peyton, Founder and Artist in resident for Smart Gallery, Space2 an Arts and Social Change Charity and play write and Academic Dr Sarah Jane Dickenson.

Latest archived memories

Pat Crawshaw
Pat Crawshaw has been appointed Vice President of the Rugby Football League, a first for…
Beverley Nicholas
Beverly Nicholas Tribute by Husband and Chairman of Batley Bull Dogs Kevin Nicholas 2019 I…
Nellie Earnshaw
Nellie has been a Batley fan from the age of 4, over 74 years ago,…
Natalie Gilmour MBE
Natalie played for Wakefield Panthers in the glory days, undefeated for 10 years. She is…
Andrea Dobson
Andrea started playing rugby league aged 12 in Chorley, she gained her first cap aged…
Sarah Cooper-Birkenhead
In 2011 Sarah went down to Featherstone training so she could spend more time with…
Natalie Harrowell
Natalie is originally from Hull, she started playing at West Hull then moved to Featherstone.…
Becky Higgins
Becky is originally from Warrington and a rugby league uber fan. Originally a volunteer she…
Rachel Timpson
Rachel has been involved in the game most of her life took up refereeing when…
Batley Bull Dogs U15 Girls Team
Batley Bull Dogs Girls Team Makes History
In 2015 Batley Bulldogs Girls team became the first girls team to tour Australia.  'The…
Lyndsey Spencer
I have memories of the 1986 Challenge Cup Final. I was 14 at the time…
Susan Jarvis
Susan Jarvis interviewed by Helen Peyton What’s your connection to Featherstone Rovers? My father was…
Kath Thompson
Kath Thompson My Dad and brother supported Featherstone Rovers and were thrilled when I first…
Barbara Wilford
  Barbara Wilford Has been a fan since 1993 although she did date her husband…
The Soup Dragon
Jan Smith aka The Soup Dragon Jan first came across rugby just before the 1967…
Ann Fowler
Ann has been the proud owner of a season ticket since she was 7/8 years…
Sue Roe
My name is Sue Roe and my husband is John Roe, who is very much…
Amy Hardman
Amy Hardman Amy's family have always been Featherstone Rovers fans since she was little but…
Christine Wilson
When I was a student nurse in Wakefield, my bedsit overlooked the College Grove ground,…
Jess Hayburn
Jess Hayburn talks about her placement at the Featherstone Rovers Foundation My first session was…
Amanda Courtman
Amanda Courtman Rovers Tots Project Leader talks about the impact of rugby league on her…
Brenda Hickin
Brenda Hickin Tales of rugby league Coming from a small town in East Yorkshire it…
Pauline Nicholson
Pauline Nicholson was a supporter of Batley Bulldogs before she was born and celebrates three…
Caroline Robinson
My earliest memory is coming here... I remember looking up and seeing lots of bottoms,…
Sandra Merrick
Sandra Merrick Sandra has always been a Featherstone fan and her children have been involved…
Pamela Grinhaff
Pam was Miss Huddersfield 1973 Tricia Mackay was Miss Huddersfield 1974 They are identical twins…
Lorna Harris
I didn't really get introduced to Rugby League, it just happened. Rugby boots arrived into…
Janet Virr
Janet Virr memories of Batley Bulldogs We used to live across the valley from the…
Sandra Brown
Rugby League Tales by Sandra Brown As a youngster, in the late forties my brother…
Kate Bellamy
Kate started playing at aged 15 for the Sheffield Women's Team 1996 for 3 years.…
Joan Cartwright
Joan Carwright Memories of Featherstone Rovers The first thought that comes to mind is the…
Gwen Whiteley
Gwen started coming to Mount Pleasant with her Mum when she was just 4 years…
Judy Williamson
Judy Williamson in her own words The first time I visited Post Office Road (as…
Sandra Turner
Sandra Turner An Oral history Sandra Turner My first game was 1983 at Wembley, Featherstone Rovers…
Minnie Cotton
‘Mrs Minnie Cotton is escorted from the pitch during the 1966 Challenge Cup semi-final between…
Julia Lee
In 2017 set up my own business Commonsense Initiative. I retrained as a life coach,…
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