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The Crack Magazine

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A Woman’s Game (The Rise, Fall, and Rise Again of Women’s Football) by Suzanne Wrack

Peep! Peep! Peeeep! I should say right from the opening whistle that I’m a big fan of women’s football so reviewing Suzanne Wrack’s superbly written A Woman’s Game (The Rise, Fall and Rise Again of Women’s Football) was always going to be a pleasure. A potted history of the women’s game with emphasis on the game’s big talking points both on and off the field was well overdue, but what makes A Woman’s Game so good is that Suzanne Wrack is a passionate advocate who has no fear of kicking ankles and pulling shirts when absolutely necessary. Partly because men and wider society have baulked against women playing football and, in some circumstances, continue to do so, “…despite the ideological battles for women’s right to play being won, it still gets attacked like no other sport”. And partly because, for all the advances the women’s game has made, the game’s infrastructure is still quite shaky, “If one thing is to be learned from the men’s game, it is that it cannot be taken on trust that club owners and financial institutions care about football”. The overall feeling of A Woman’s Game, however, is broadly optimistic, and based on the forthcoming Women’s Euros (sold out matches, televised games, player guides, wall charts) has a right to be. The final paragraph in the book is a great summing up and rallying call for the women’s game, “If there is one thing we can take from this potted history of the women’s game it is that women footballers are resilient and effective fighters. We can achieve incredible things when driving for change together, not just with each other but by connecting literally or ideologically with the broader struggles of women and other groups, be they based on gender, race, sexuality or class. The opportunity is ours for the taking”. Peep! Peep! Peeeep! What a ninety minutes. A Woman’s Game is totally recommended.

A Woman’s Game (The Rise, Fall, and Rise Again of Women’s Football) – Suzanne Wrack - publ. Guardian Faber - £14.99

Steven Long