MEMORY LANE: Harleston pupil’s 1995 campaign to allow girls in Years 7,8 and 9 to play football hits BBC airwaves

Campaign to get girls playing football
Campaign to get girls playing football

The year 1995 may not seem like 20 years ago to many people.

But the idea of girls at Secondary School not being able to play football sounds like a relic from the past.

Making the headlines of the Diss Express in 1995 was Amii Etheridge of Archbishop Sancroft High School in Harleston, who was campaigning to allow girls other than those in Years 10 and 11 to play football at her school.

A letter send to BBC Radio Five Live was read out on air and sparked a national debate.

She also sent letters to government and the Women’s FA.

In response, then Archbishop Sancroft headteacher Frank Paice said that the school was “constrained by association rules on competitive football”. He said the school was reviewin g its policy and was committed to equal opportunities and mixed PE.

A passionate footballer, Amii said it was strangle that girls could play football at Primary School age, and then upon moving up to high school had to stop until they reached Year 10.

She told the Diss Express: “Girls should be allowed to play football. I feel really strongly about it as I used to play at primary school, but when I came to high school I was told I couldn’t play.

So Amii’s most important victory may well have come off the pitch - today, girls at each secondary school year are able to play football.