The FA, in collaboration with the Luton Heritage Forum at Luton Council, unveiled a blue plaque in honour of the trailblazing Chiltern Valley Ladies FC and the British Independents teams of 1967 through to 1972.
Harry and June Batt established Chiltern Valley Ladies with a vision for how the game could develop as the historic ban on women’s football came to an end. Many of the team’s players went on to represent the British Independents, also founded by the Batts, at tournaments across the globe, including the 1969 European Cup held in Italy and the 1971 World Cup held in Mexico.
The plaque was unveiled at Crawley Green Recreation Ground in Luton, the then home of Chiltern Valley Ladies, with members of the 1969, 1970 and 1971 British Independent and Chiltern Valley teams in attendance. Former England international Kerry Davis, who herself played a pivotal role in the history of women’s football as one of the Lionesses’ top goal scorers and the team’s first black players, was on-hand to unveil the plaque and meet with the honoured generation.
Baroness Sue Campbell, Director of Women’s Football at the FA, said: “The growth we are seeing across the game today wouldn’t be possible without the pioneers who laid the path to get here. This plaque honours the dedication of Harry and June Batt and all those who played for Chiltern Valley Ladies FC and the British Independents for blazing a trail for women’s football. Without their efforts to break down barriers all those years ago, the women’s game wouldn’t be where it is today and we are truly grateful for the passion and endeavours they showed.”