A BRADFORD women's football team which defied an FA ban to inspire future generations is celebrated in a major new gallery.

On Sunday, December 5 it will be 100 years since the Football Association banned women from playing at Football League grounds. The ban was maintained for 50 years and lifted in 1971.

In two years Bradford team Hey's Brewery Ladies went from playing their first match at a park gala to representing England. Kathryn Hey, a descendant of the family that owned Joseph Hey & Co Ltd, known as Hey's Brewery, on Lumb Lane, has researched its women's football team, and its legacy for the sport today.

"Whilst researching my family history in 2014 I discovered a link to Bradford brewers J Hey & Co Ltd," said Kathryn. "I was thrilled to learn they had a ladies football team. Being an avid Bradford City supporter, and with the close connection with Hey’s brewery and Valley Parade, I was eager to know more.

"Over 100 years ago, in April 1921, Hey’s Ladies were formed. They went from playing their first match at Peel Park carnival to representing England in matches in France and Scotland."

Despite the FA ban a few women's teams, including Hey's, battled the odds to continue playing the game. "They had to overcome significant barriers and in doing so, generated awareness of their cause and raised thousands for charities," said Kathryn.

Most young women on Hey's team worked in the brewery's bottling department. The team included four international players. Seven of the team were under 17-years-old and all were under 20. The brewery's close link to Bradford City led to Hey's first high profile match at Valley Parade on October 19, 1921 against Dick Kerrs. In December 1921 Arthur Hey, brewery manager and chairman of Bradford City, stood up to the FA and opposed the ban, defending women's football.

Hey's team highlights include being crowned Yorkshire Champions in 1921, beating a French national side in Paris in 1923 and winning a Scotland v England International in 1922.

Now the Hey's team is featured in a major new gallery celebrating women's football, opening at the Scottish Football Museum, Hamden Park, Glasgow, this weekend to coincide with the centenary of the FA ban. Kathryn, who has researched the team with historians David and Mick Pendleton and Malcolm Toft, is "proud and honoured" that they're included in the gallery.

* See Friday's T&A for a look back feature on Hey's Brewery Ladies team.