Club’s ‘Unlock The Gate’ campaign kicks off with record attendance

Packing them in ... the bumper crowd at The Dripping Pan. Photograph by James Boyes
Packing them in ... the bumper crowd at The Dripping Pan. Photograph by James Boyes

Lewes FC Women took on Charlton Athletic Women in a second versus first Premier League encounter at The Dripping Pan. But this was more than just a game.

It was the launch of Lewes FC’s #UnlockTheGate campaign, marking 100 years since women first got the vote and bringing bigger crowds to women’s football.

On the pitch, Charlton came back from a goal down to run out 2-1 winners in an end-to-end match of great drama and some superb football.

Off the pitch, the launch was an incredible success. The ultimate target is to hit a four-figure attendance at the Lewes FC Women versus Cardiff league match on February 11, the closest date to the 100th anniversary of when women first got the vote in February 1918.

But even the Charlton match attracted a record attendance for the women of 407, higher than even Arsenal Women achieved on the same day at home to Sunderland.

The Lewes crowd was swelled by families, local women’s groups and even a good showing of Suffragettes (the Nevill Bonfire Suffragettes) in full regalia.

An appeal by the club directly to local women brought a fantastic response and many of the crowd were treated their first ever taste of women’s football – they went away having seen a fast, skilful and hard-fought game.

Lewes FC Women have two more home fixtures in December and these will hopefully further increase attendances ready for the big push in February next year.

On Sunday, December 3 (2pm), Lewes are at home to Enfield Town Ladies in the FA Cup and then on Sunday, December 10 (2pm), it’s the turn of Portsmouth Ladies in the FAWPL Cup. And there will be activities for kids as well as some winter-warmers for the adults.

Admission for women’s games is only £5 for adults, £3 for concessions and students and everyone under 16 gets in free.

More details are available by searching ‘Unlock The Gate’ on Facebook.