Inspirational Women

Every Lewes FC Women's match poster this season will feature a famous (and sometimes less famous) woman who inspires us and who lives, lived or was born in the area where our opponents come from...

The posters are designed by Lewes resident Chris Arran. Chris studied illustration at Manchester Metropolitan University with the legendary children’s book illustrator Tony Ross as his tutor. Since 2008, he has been working with paint and collage, using a mix of paint and digital paint techniques, Inspired by pop art, fashion illustration and the sunny positive Californian colour palettes circa 1970/80′s.
Chrisarran.com

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Lewes v Sheffield United: Sharman

Helen Sharman, the UK's first-ever astronaut, was born in Grenoside, Sheffield in 1963 and completed her BSc in Chemistry at the University of Sheffield in 1984. Her route to the stars was a bit unusual in that, five years after graduating, she responded to an advert and was selected for the Project Juno mission live on ITV. She was just 27 when the soviet-funded eight-day Soyuz TM-12 launched on 18 May 1991.

(Featured Lewes FC player: Amy Taylor)

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Lewes v Durham: Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Born Elizabeth Moulton-Barrett on 6 March 1806 in Kelloe, just South-East of Durham itself, Elizabeth Barrett Browning wrote some of this country's most beloved poetry. Despite living her life with crippling illness, from the age of just 15, she produced the most stunning romantic poetry, probably most notably her Sonnet 42 How Do I Love Thee? She was also a social campaigner, arguing for the abolition of slavery and working to reform child labour laws. Unfortunately, her marriage to Robert Browning, in 1846, was not approved by her father and the Barrett Brownings moved to Italy that same year. She almost certainly should have been the UK's first-ever female Poet Laureate, after the death of Wordsworth in 1850, but that gig went instead to Tennyson. She died in Florence in 1861.

(Featured Lewes FC player: Shannon Moloney)

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Lewes v Millwall Lionesses: Olive Morris

Born in Jamaica in 1952, Olive Morris moved to South London when she was nine. She left school without qualifications, but went on to study at the London College of Printing. Though no single event can explain someone's path into becoming a fighter for social justice, following a notorious incident in 1969 where she witnessed the beating of a Nigerian diplomat by police in Brixton and was herself beaten, Olive's own activism certainly did surface.  A squat that she started at 121 Railton Road, Brixton with her friend Liz Obi in 1973 became a hub of political activism. And in 1974, she helped to found the Brixton Black Women's Group. Beyond her South London base, she also travelled extensively around the world to learn how others were organising new ways for society to organise itself. It was during a trip to Spain in 1978 that she fell ill and on returning to the UK, was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma. She died a year later, just 27 years old.

(Featured Lewes FC player: Charley Boswell)

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Lewes v London Bees: Amy Winehouse

Amy Winehouse was born in Southgate, on 14th September 1983, a short ride away from Barnet where London Bees play. Many of her maternal uncles were professional jazz musicians and her paternal grandmother, Cynthia, was a singer. So no surprise perhaps that she grew up singing and loving jazz music. She attended Theatre and Stage schools and then the BRIT school. Her debut album, Frank, was released on 20 October 2003. Three years later Back To Black was released and she went stratospheric. Her music and lyrics were incredibly raw, heartfelt and inspirational. She was an absolutely remarkable woman whose talent will be respected and loved for decades to come.

(Featured Lewes FC player: Vicky Carleton)

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Lewes v Charlton Athletic: Vanessa Redgrave

Vanessa Redgrave was born in Greenwich, South London, on 30th January 1937. As an actor, she has been equally magnificent on stage and screen, winning both an Academy Award (Best Supporting Actress in 'Julia') and an Olivier Award (Best Actress in 'The Aspern Papers') and numerous other awards too. As a political activist, she has sometimes courted controversy but has consistently spoken against wars, becoming a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in 1995. Our image is from the huge anti Vietnam War march in London, 1968. The picture of Vanessa Redgrave was taken by celebrated photographer John Walmsley.

(Featured Lewes FC player: Katie McIntyre)

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Lewes v Manchester United: Emmeline Pankhurst

Emmeline Pankhurst was born on 15 July 1858 in the Manchester suburb of Moss Side. Though her parents were political activists and supportive of women's suffrage they didn't offer Emmeline the same educational path as her brothers. It was at the age of just 14, after attending a talk with her mother by Lydia Becker, the Editor of the Women's Suffrage Journal, that Emmeline resolved to fight for women's suffrage herself. Fed up with the lack of progress being achieved by peaceful dialogue on 10 October 1903 Pankhurst and colleagues founded the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU) which focused on direct action to win the vote. "Deeds," she wrote "not words, was to be our permanent motto."

(Featured Lewes FC player: Rebecca Thompson-Agbro)

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Lewes v Aston Villa: Joan Armatrading

Joan Armatrading was born in Basseterre on the Caribbean island of Saint Kitts, but at the age of seven, she joined her parents in central Birmingham. At about the age of 14, Armatrading began writing songs (on a £3 guitar given to her by her mother) but had to combine her fledgling songwriting career with work, to help support her family. In 1972, she released her debut album (Whatever's For us) and the 2018 release 'Not Too Far Away' is her 24th studio album. Her music has been the emotional backdrop for generations of us and an inspiration for female musicians. As Joan herself said: ""My songs aren't about me at all. They're always about love, the pain and anguish of it." Yes indeed. What a legend.

(Featured Lewes FC player: Sarah Kempson)

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Lewes v Tottenham Hotspur: Adele

Adele Adkins was born and brought up in Tottenham until the age of nine when she and her mother moved to Brighton for a couple of years. Following a move back to South London, Adele was later to attend the BRIT School in Croydon, graduating in 2006. Having started singing at the age of four, the glittering career that followed was perhaps written in the stars though delivered by incredible determination and hard work. Adele has won awards too numerous to mention and sold over 100 million records but we have chosen her as one of our #InspirationalWomen because her voice and her spirit have moved and given comfort to millions around the world.

(Featured Lewes FC player: Leeta Rutherford)

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Lewes v Leicester City: Biddy Baxter

Joan Maureen "Biddy" Baxter was born and brought up in Leicester. Though she didn't originally create Blue Peter, it was Baxter and her deputy Edward Barnes who developed the format into a successful programme, initially on a budget of only £180 per edition. It was Baxter who created, in 1963, the legendary Blue Peter badge as a way to encourage viewers to write in and she also started the annual Blue Peter appeals. In a man's world of TV production, she was a pioneer in children's television worldwide.

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Lewes v Crystal Palace: Jacqueline du Pré

Jacqueline spent her early school years in Purley and, at the age of eight, transferred to Croydon High School. She is considered one of the greatest cellists of all time. In the 1960s, her popularity crossed over into the mainstream of music - she was one of the first classical musicians to bring her music to a wider audience.

Tragically, her career was cut short by multiple sclerosis and she gave her last ever performance in 1973, already significantly affected by the illness. She battled the illness for many years until her death in 1987 at the age of 42.

(Featured Lewes FC player: Faye Baker)

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Lewes v Arsenal: Kathy Burke

Kathy was born in the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead and brought up in Islington.

From her debut in the controversial 1983 film Scrubbers to the Cannes/BAFTA 'Best Actress' award-winning Nil By Mouth in 1997 and beyond, she has proved herself to be a superb dramatic actor as well as being a comedy genius (French & Saunders Show, Gimme Gimme Gimme, AbFab). Since 2001 Kathy has focussed on Directing. We love her passion and uninhibited approach to acting and directing.

(Featured Lewes FC player: Avilla Bergin)

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Lewes v Charlton Athletic: Kate Bush

Born in Bexleyheath, Kate Bush also lived for a time in Eltham. Thanks to some early help from Dave Gilmour, she produced a three-track demo that got her signed by EMI in 1975. Her first album 'The Kick Inside' was launched with what is still one of her most iconic songs Wuthering Heights. And her career was set. For her sheer energy, creative imagination and refusal to compromise in a male-dominated music industry (particularly in the 70s/80s), we chose Kate Bush as our Inspirational Woman for this poster.

(Featured Lewes FC player: Rebecca 'Chewy' Carter)

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