"It's all about empowering women" - FC United of Manchester celebrate International Women's Day with new kit

"It's all about empowering women" - FC United of Manchester celebrate International Women's Day with new kit

Last summer the Lionesses gripped the nation and ended England’s 56-year wait for a major football trophy, and like many others non-league club FC United of Manchester are building on this success by releasing a unique kit on International Women's Day.

Ever since they stepped away from Manchester United in 2005 out of protest of the Glazer's ownership the club have been breaking boundaries.

With the billionaires now on the verge of leaving Old Trafford questions have been raised over the future of FC United but the club have made it clear that they're going nowhere.

The women's team was formed in 2012 to offer young women around Greater Manchester a chance to play for a club that promotes inclusivity and the local community.

Their 'one-club mentality' is being expressed now more than ever with the announcement of a unique strip which acknowledges Manchester’s historical connection to the suffragette movement.

The away kit will be worn next season and features a striking purple and green sash emulating the sashes worn at parades and rallies by supporters of women’s suffragettes.

"I’m delighted we are able to share this exciting news on International Women’s Day and lead the way for women in sport,” explained FC United Chief Executive Natalie Atkinson.

"This is a first for the club whereby our women’s team will have their own unique kit and it feels even more special that the kit’s design recognises the contributions and success of women in sport and wider society over the last century."

"It's all about empowering women" - FC United of Manchester celebrate International Women's Day with new kit

After years of campaigning women were finally given equal voting rights in 1928, but equality remained a huge issue in football.

Women were banned from playing on any pitch that was under FA control, because “the game of football was quite unsuitable for females and they ought not to be encouraged”.

The ban wasn't lifted until 1971 and back in August 2021, FC United commemorated the 50-year anniversary by hosting a special game against fellow community club Clapton FC which gained them national recognition.

They continue to be pioneers for women in sport with the kit celebrating this year's theme of International Women’s Day which is equality.

The Red Rebels now compete in the North West Women’s Regional League and currently sit in second place in the table with hopes of getting promoted. They ground share with the men's team at Broadhurst Park in Moston, North Manchester which has become a hub for sport in the local area.

But naturally, running a fan-owned non-league football club comes with its struggles.

FC United's captain Kirsty Chambers is a one club woman having been with the team since the beginning and she and her teammates have been used to oversized hand-me-down men's kits so to finally be wearing their own is a huge step forward.

They are thrilled with everything the strip represents and hope it can inspire women and young girls across the country.

"Myself and the rest of the girls are thrilled to be wearing our own kit next season. We love what the kit represents," Chambers said.

"It’s all about empowering women and we have chosen the charity Manchester Women’s Aid to help support women and children affected by domestic and sexual abuse."

FC have created the kit in partnership with New Balance who worked on their recent iconic green and gold third kit for the men's team which is based on the colours of the Glazer's out movement.

The release will help push for continued reform not just in the women's game but in men's game too.

It's a prime example of how clubs can use their platform for positive change and recognise how much women have had to fight just to be able to play football competitively.

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