In this week’s article from the Heritage Team at the FIFA Museum we present a selection of very special objects from April Heinrichs, the first captain of a Women’s World Cup winning team and we explain how a ground-breaking 37-word law made it all possible.
Within the showcase for the 1991 Women’s World Cup at the FIFA Museum is one of the most significant displays we have in our collection. It’s not often that we have a full kit – shirt and shorts – let alone one that was worn by a World Cup winning captain. But what makes this kit even more special is the fact that it was worn by April Heinrichs when she became the first woman to lift the World Cup. It sealed her place in footballing folklore alongside Uruguay’s José Nasazzi, 61 years after he became the first man to captain his nation to World Cup victory.
That’s not all, however. Heinrichs’ kit sits alongside her winners medal and to cap it all we also display the now retired original Women’s World Cup Trophy next to them. It’s an extraordinary gathering of hugely significant objects that help us tell the story of how women’s football took its first steps to becoming the number one female sport in the world. As we approach the 30th anniversary of the that ground-breaking World Cup it is worth examining how the victory of the USA team on that historic day in 1991 was made possible.