THE GREATEST TEAM THAT NEVER WON ANYTHING.

In which an old man shares some fond memories with his grandson. Birmingham, England, July 1982.      “I know you think the current lads are the best Villa team ever,” said the old man, rising to his feet with an effort and crossing to the desk in the corner of his cozy living room on…

The Tragedy of Tommy Ball.

In which an English professional soccer player meets an unusual and tragic fate. The Last Game, November 10, 1923.      Thomas Edgar Ball rose majestically into the air and propelled a powerful header out towards the touchline to the feet of his winger. The Aston Villa player controlled the ball, swiveled and prepared to race…

Lily: The Finale.

   In which the British footballing authorities plot the demise of women's soccer, and Lily and her teammates set off on a historic tour of North America.  “ST. HELENS GIRL JUST CAN’T STOP SCORING!” was the headline in the local paper.      “Lily Parr, not yet sixteen years old, is the new scoring wizard of…

Lily, part 3.

In which Lily Parr, women's soccer pioneer, and her teammates show off their skills in France and meet Winston Churchill.      The following day at Stockport’s Edgeley Park, the French, perhaps exhausted from their long trip and their efforts of the previous day, succumbed to a 5-2 thrashing.      “What you girls need,” said Alice…

Lily (part 2)

 In which Lily and the Dick, Kerr Ladies meet a team from France.     “You’re in the team, Lily,” declared Alfred Frankland. “I’ve put thee in on left wing. I think tha’s ready.”      “Thanks, Mr. Frankland,” said Lily, her eyes shining with excitement. “I won’t let you down!”     “I know, lass,” replied…

Lily

In which a young working-class girl, destined to become a star of women's soccer, meets her team-mates for the first time.      “I’ll introduce you to some of the girls,” said Alice Kell to fourteen year old Lily Parr. “This is Florrie Redford, our center-forward,” she continued indicating an attractive blonde-haired young woman, who was…

Pongo

In which a young reporter probes the career of a distinguished but eccentric soccer player.     “Excuse me, are you Mr. Waring?” asked the shy fresh-faced young man.       “Who’s asking?” said the other, looking up from the table and wiping the froth from his mouth with his sleeve.      “I’m Fred Hargreaves, a reporter…