A massive granite memorial has been erected at Deepdale Stadium, Preston to remember the efforts of one of the most successful women’s football teams ever.

Women’s football may now be more in the limelight than ever before, but the ladies who paved the way for today’s brilliant athletes shouldn’t be forgotten. Dick, Kerr Ladies FC was founded at a munitions factory in Preston in 1917, but by 1921 the Football Association banned the women’s game, claiming football was “unsuitable for females and ought not to be encouraged.” Despite the ban, the side continued to play across the world and chalked more than 200 games without defeat. The ladies played their first game at Preston North End’s Deepdale stadium – to commemorate this two of Preston’s leading landscape designers (FWP & Ben Casey) came together with Hardscape to design and supply a memorial for the team.

Picture perfect

The initial design for the huge 6m x 3m granite panelled image came from a classic team photo of the ladies themselves. Seb Salisbury, architect of FWP, said “the wall plaque displays a modern treatment of a black and white team photograph from 1921. We wanted to pick up on the unique way the ladies are stood in the team picture and portray it in such a way that signifies unity, togetherness and strength.” At Hardscape we have the capabilities to bring almost any image to life through stone, whether that be laser etching it on or using the waterjet to cut the picture out on bigger slabs as seen on this memorial.

Granite goals

Hardscape supplied an astonishing 3.5 tonnes of granite in total to the memorial. The project was split into three sections and consists of just over 60 granite panels including a wall plaque measuring an impressive 6m x 4m. The lower section of the memorial, the plinth, contains a narrative explaining the unique history of the Dick, Kerr Ladies football team, which was all etched, waterjet and sandblasted on by Artscape processes. The granite used was Midnight Black, polished and flamed, which is one of our Chinese granite offers. As well as granite, there were also blue and brown Crystalpave (glass) inserts, which were used to create each player’s and the old leather football on the wall plaque.

Dick, Kerr Ladies were a hugely successful football team, and they made their efforts on the pitch count for that little extra. In their time, the team raised the equivalent of £10m in total for war related charities, making all the difference in times or turmoil. The memorial is sponsored by the FA, BAE Systems, University of Central Lancashire, Preston North End, FWP Architects, UEFA and the Professional Footballers’ Association. Hardscape was proud to be involved in commemorating such an influential and historical sports team.

Client: The Dick, Kerr Ladies Centenary Group. Architect: FWP, Ben Casey. Specialist Stone Mason Installers: Quadriga. Stone and Artscape Supplier: Hardscape.