Teacher’s book puts women’s football history into play

Strathallan School teacher Paul Beeson has become a published playwright this month as his play Sweet F.A. hits the shelves.

Published by Tippermuir Books on International Women’s Day, the play-turned-book follows the story of a factory football team from Fountainbridge fighting for their right to play the game.

Paul Beeson, an English and drama teacher from Edinburgh, wrote Sweet F.A. alongside fellow actors, writers and directors Bruce Strachan and Tim Barrow.

Sweet F.A. was first performed during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival by a company of nine women on a uniquely-built stage at the historic Tynecastle Park, the home of Heart of Midlothian Football Club. The football ground where the players from the North British Rubber Company (NBRC) faced rivals from Ramage & Ferguson shipbuilders in 1916.

Paul said: ‘I’m not only delighted as the writer of the play to see Sweet F.A. in print but also as a fan of football. The rapidly growing popularity of female football before the 50-year ban imposed by the F.A in 1921 is a vital part of our nation’s history and something more people should know about.

‘It’s testament to the compelling story that Sweet F.A. has been easily adapted into a book. I hope it gives football fans from all clubs a chance to consider the struggle and passion women have played and continue to play in the beautiful game.’

Sweet F.A. is available directly from Tippermuir books or in person from the Hearts Clubstore at Tynecastle Park.