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Helen Matthews

Helen Matthews

Scottish footballer and suffragette
Helen Matthews
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro Scottish footballer and suffragette
A.K.A. Mrs. Graham
Is Politician Athlete Football player Association football player Suffragette Suffragist
From United Kingdom
Type Activism Politics Sports
Gender female
Birth 1857, Montrose, United Kingdom
The details


Helen Graham Matthews, also known by her pseudonym Mrs Graham (born 1857/8), was a Scottish suffragette and women's footballer. She is known for founding the Mrs Graham's XI, widely considered to be the first British women's football team.

Personal life

Matthews was born in Montrose, Angus, Scotland.


In 1881, Matthews decided to set up a women's national team, after watching a match between Scotland and England at The Oval. She used the pseudonym Mrs Graham and named the team Mrs Graham's XI. The first record of the team coming together to play football occurred on 9 May 1881, at Edinburgh's Easter Road Stadium. The match was billed as a Scotland v England international, and Matthews played as a goalkeeper. After women's football was banned in Scotland, Matthews and Nettie Honeyball formed The Lady Footballer team in England. Matthews left The Lady Footballer in 1896, and in the same year, she took Mrs Graham's XI to play against Scottish men's teams. In the first match of the tour against Irvine, Matthews sustained a black eye, but continued playing. Matthews only revealed her true identity in 1900.

The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 26 Jan 2020. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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