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Remember When: 'I can keep up with the boys'

Welcome to Remember When, which takes a weekly look back through our archives, spanning nearly 150 years, to bring you snapshots from Maidenhead's past.

Nicola Hine

Nicola Hine

Remember When: 'I can keep up with the boys'

1987: Football-mad Emily Wilkinson was desperate to play for a local football club but was unable to find one that would take her on – because of the fact she was a girl.

The nine-year-old from Cox Green Lane spent all her spare time playing her beloved sport, including for the girls’ team at school, where she was hoping to be selected for the boys’ squad.

But no club would take her on.

“It is annoying,” she said. “I can’t see why it should make the slightest difference that I am a girl.

“I can keep up with the boys when I play with them. I just feel sad that I am not being given a chance.”

The Football Association’s rule 37 disqualified girls from playing in the same team as boys.


School ends ban on girls’ trousers

1987: Newlands Girls’ School abandoned its fight to ban Muslim pupils from wearing trousers, bringing to an end a five-year row.

Governors voted to modify uniform rules to meet the religious and cultural needs of pupils.

But the governors and some parents vowed to lobby MPs for a clarification on the law.

The vote followed strong pressure on the governors to lift the ban after a legal finding that it amounted to ‘indirect discrimination’.

It meant Muslim pupils would now be allowed to wear regulation trousers on receipt of a written request by their parents.

Headmistress Jessie Leighton said governors had fought for an ‘important’ educational principle and stressed the school had only stood down because of the legal ruling.


Rugby team regains county crown

1987: Skipper Nigel Crosland held the Berkshire Cup aloft as Maidenhead RFC celebrated winning the title at Braywick.

The home side beat Newbury 18-6 (having come back from a six-point deficit) in front of a crowd of more than 1,500.

They regained the county crown lost to Reading the previous season, and guaranteed themselves John Player Cup rugby for the next season.

Despite a disappointing campaign in which Maids had come to be labelled ‘inconsistent’ they went into the game as pre-match favourites and lived up to their billing.

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