First BBC woman sport commentator receives blue plaque


Marjorie Pollard broadcasting

Image caption

Marjorie Pollard (right), broadcasting at a women’s hockey match in 1938, was also a regular women’s cricket commentator

The first woman to commentate on sport for the BBC has been remembered in her home town with a blue plaque.

Marjorie Pollard, who was born and educated in Peterborough, played hockey for England 37 times in the 1920s and 1930s, and co-founded the Women’s Cricket Association.

Her first BBC commentary was on a men’s cricket match in 1935.

Sports lecturer Rafaelle Nicholson said she also wrote for national newspapers on a variety of women’s sports.

Pollard, who went to the Peterborough County Grammar School, went on to cover the first women’s cricket international match against Australia in 1937.

The BBC did not employ a female football commentator on Match of the Day until 2007.

Dr Nicholson, from Bournemouth University, said: “She really got media coverage at a time when not many people knew about women’s sport.

“And she was one of the pioneering women who helped found the Women’s Cricket Association in 1926 to enable more girls to play.”

Image copyright
Peterborough Civic Society

Image caption

Marjorie Pollard and another pioneering woman, nuclear physicist Daphne Jackson, both went Peterborough’s County Grammar School

The association ran women’s cricket in England until 1998, when the England and Wales Cricket Board took over.

Pollard’s plaque is among 15 which have now been unveiled by Peterborough Civic Society.

‘Real find’

Through a public appeal, it discovered another pioneering woman from the city.

Daphne Jackson – the UK’s first woman physics professor – was “a real find”, according to society vice-president Toby Wood.

He said her brother Ron, who is in his 90s, told him Prof Jackson, who started working at the University of Surrey from 1971, deserved to have a plaque.

“Her memory lives on in the Daphne Jackson Trust, which helps women scientists return to work after a career break,” Mr Wood said.

Plaques honouring both women have been installed on the site of their former school.

A family of 11 who died in the Titanic disaster have also been remembered.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.