The 1971 England Women’s Team, known as the ‘Lost Lionesses’, last night (03.08.2023) were presented with upcycled caps and a hand-crafted bespoke Mitre football to commemorate being trailblazers of Women’s Football at the National Football Museum

The team, managed by Harry Batt, travelled to Mexico for a World Cup in 1971 – launching them to fame and stardom as they played in front of crowds of up to 90,000. 

With Women’s Football still banned at the time, on their return to England the players were subsequently banned from playing football, some never to play again.

Despite their huge success and popularity, and their role in breaking the boundaries for today’s women’s game to flourish; a fan-led initiative originated by Craig Stronach & supported by the FSA (Football Supporters Association) has created a collection of products to commemorate this trailblazing team for their achievements. 

Mitre commissioned football designer Jon-Paul Wheatley to create a hand-crafted Mitre football for this project. Inspired by the Mitre Ultimax, using the same panel configuration and hand stitched, like it was, using upcycled Mitre footballs previously used by football fans and players over the last 30 years. This beautiful piece was created as a gift to the family of Harry Batt, the man who led this amazing team, among other Women’s teams to compete globally. It will be presented in a box and given to the family to finally mark achievements of the 1971 world event. 

Simon Breckon, Mitre Brand Director adds: “The Mitre brand is built on rich heritage and craftsmanship for over 100 years, and we’re extremely proud of our roots in football and in the community. We actively support all those with a real love of the game, and we feel the Lost Lionesses epitomises this.” “Celebrating fan culture is in our DNA. Now more than ever is a time for fans old and new to get behind women’s football being therein the key moments and making history.”

Designer Sophie Hird created 14 bespoke England Caps to present to the team – designed, upcycled, and created by England fans. Each cap is inspired by a Woman that played after the 71 team, signified by the specific shirt, their name and number, and defined into a specific game. This initiative was proudly supported by Retro football shirts who have kindly donated England shirts to aid Sophie’s creations and celebrate.

Craig Stronach, Creative Director adds: “It’s with great pride that we launch this fan led initiative, that truly celebrates and gives back to the trailblazers of 1971. We wanted to create something which recognised the team’s courage and contribution to women’s football, but ultimately puts fans at the heart of it. It’s been so inspiring to work with the creative designers and with Mitre, who have shared the same level of passion as me for this project and which comes through in these truly unique pieces”.

The presentation of the ball and caps took place at the National Football Museum in Manchester last night during a public event which included a round table discussion with current players about the experiences Women faced in 71, in comparison to today’s game. The discussion acknowledged the great progress the Women’s game has taken, but the work that still needs to be done to create greater opportunities for young talent. 

For more information contact mitre@mercieca.co..uk and follow @mitresports

Notes to editors




Harry Batt – Son: Keith Batt 


Chris Lockwood

Carol Wilson

Jan Emms (Barton)

Marlene Rowe (Collins) 

Jean Elliott (Breckon)

Jill Brader (Stockley)

Paula Milnes (Rayner)

Val Hyde (Cheshire) 

Leah Caleb

Gill Sayell

Louise Gardner (Cross)

Trudy Mccaffery

Lillian Taylor (Harris)

Yvonne Bradley (Farr)

Project contributors

Craig Stronach – Project Lead

Deborah Dilworth – FSA – Footballers Supports Association 

Beth Fletcher-Hunt – Mitre 

Gaurav Kumar – Fresh Base Productions 

Craig Dobson – National Football Museum  Jay Tomlins – Retro Football Shirts 

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