Dick, Kerr Ladies attracted 53,000 fans on Boxing Day 100 years ago. A year later, they were banned

The year is 1920. It’s Boxing Day and Goodison Park stadium in Liverpool is packed to the rafters with 53,000 supporters.

As many as 14,000 fans have been left outside, unable to get into the ground.

However, this capacity crowd is not there to see the male players of two-time First Division and 1906 FA Cup champions, Everton.

Instead, they have come to catch a glimpse of an amateur women’s team, albeit arguably the best women’s team of all time, Dick, Kerr Ladies.

Yet, despite the people voting with their feet by flocking to see them play across the world, what should be looked back on as one of the crowning glories of football instead holds bittersweet memories as that success sowed the seeds for a ban that would devastate the women’s game for half a century.

The Munitionettes

Women’s football was pushed to the fore in the early 20th century.

During World War I, with men taken from factories and sent to the killing fields of the Western Front, women stepped up to take their place to ensure Britain’s industrial might was repurposed to supply troops on the continent.

As the female workforce grew — particularly in munitions factories, where they were referred to as the Munitionettes — a large number took up football as a form of after-work extracurricular activity.

There were knock-on effects on these new teams.

Since 1915, men’s league football in England had been suspended, leading to a dearth of sporting entertainment for those at home.

With funds for military hospitals running desperately low, female factory teams were approached to play fundraising — and morale-boosting — football matches.

Dick, Kerr Ladies competed in a large number of charity matches to help the war effort.(Supplied: Twitter)

They proved to be very popular.

In Dick, Kerr Ladies first match against Arundel Coulthard Foundry, 10,000 supporters flocked to Preston North End’s Deepdale stadium on Christmas Day, 1917.

The match raised a colossal 600 pounds — which equates to roughly 26,358 pounds today ($46,800) — for the local Moor Park Military Hospital.

The ladies never looked back.

Trailblazing internationals

Gail Newsham grew up in Preston, a stone’s throw from the site of the Dick, Kerr factory.

Despite being a local, she knew little of the world-famous trailblazers that lived and played on her doorstep until a chance meeting with a former player in 1991 sparked a drive to preserve the team’s memory.

After two decades of research, Newsham said there was one reason for their success. Their ability.

“When I was doing my research in the early 90s, I met a couple of gentlemen who had seen the Dick, Kerr Ladies play,” Newsham said.

“I asked one of them why he wanted to watch the Dick, Kerr Ladies.

“There was nothing gender related, wanting to see women in shorts, anything like that. It was the quality of the football that made him want to go, and that’s why he went.”

He was not alone.

Dick, Kerr Ladies became a big drawcard across the United Kingdom and overseas, as one of the first recognised women’s international teams.

The team hosted a French side from Paris in the north-west and London, raising money for the National Association of Discharged and Disabled Soldiers and Sailors.


They then travelled to France, becoming the first women’s team from the UK to partake in an overseas tour, playing matches in Paris, Roubaix, Le Havre and Rouen in front of a total of over 62,000 spectators.

Back home, they played the first-ever women’s match under floodlights at Deepdale — for which they borrowed two anti-aircraft lights with permission from the secretary of state for war, Winston Churchill.

A world record crowd at Goodison Park

With support for Dick, Kerr Ladies continuing to grow, the team met St Helens Ladies on Boxing Day 1920 at Everton’s Goodison Park.

Two football players look to fans who are cheering.
Goodison Park is used to hosting packed houses for men’s matches, but first hosted a world record crowd for a women’s match that stood for 99 years.(Reuters: Andrew Yates)

Crowds had always been healthy for these charity matches, but the Goodison game was something else.

“I don’t think anyone dreamt at how big it would be,” Newsham said.

The 53,000 fans in attendance that day set a record for women’s football that was only beaten last year, when 60,739 people saw Atlético Madrid host Barcelona at the Wanda Metropolitano in March 2019.

The Boxing Day match alone raised 3,115 pounds for charity, or 140,143 pounds in today’s money ($248,830).

Newsham said there was not a lot written about that particular match, but there were still some interesting subplots.

Star striker Florrie Redford missed the train to Liverpool, leaving Dick, Kerr Ladies with something of an issue up front.

Jennie Harris was moved to centre forward and scored the only goal of the first half to give Dick, Kerr Ladies the lead at the break.

In the second half though, a hat-trick from “captain fantastic” and right back Alice Kell completed a 4-0 victory.

The Ban

Two women's football teams are pictured in front of a crowd of spectators
Dick, Kerr Ladies played 67 games in 1921, all for charity.(Supplied: National Football Museum)

Throughout 1921, the matches came thick and fast for Dick, Kerr Ladies, but storm clouds were brewing for the women’s game.

League football had resumed in 1919 after the Great War, with men coming back from the front to resume their former lives.

However, in every aspect of life in 1920’s Britain, women were finding their voice in society. Suffrage had been granted to women over the age of 30 in 1918 — although genuine equality only came in 1928 with universal suffrage for those aged over 21.

However, in sport, patriarchy still ruled.

The Football League — men’s, there was no women’s league despite its evident popularity — at that point was made up of 44 teams, in two divisions of 22 teams each.

In 1920/21, the Football League absorbed the Southern League to create the Third Division, increasing the number of clubs playing nationally to 66.

The year after, they added a further 20 clubs and split the Third Division into North and South regions.

The pie was being sliced into increasingly smaller pieces — and the game’s powerbrokers felt that the women’s slice was getting too large.

On December 5, 1921, just under a year after the spectacularly successful match at Goodison Park, the Football Association (FA) banned women from using its grounds, saying football was “quite unsuitable for females and ought not to be encouraged”.

The FA did not recognise women’s football again in any form until 1969, almost 50 years later.

Incidentally, Australia’s governing body followed suit in 1922, although Fiona Crawford and Lee McGowan write in their book, Never Say Die, that the “fragmented state-based structure … meant the ban was not directly or effectively put in place”.

Newsham believes it was likely that the success of the match at Goodison Park was the “death knell” for the women’s game in England.

“It’s only my personal opinion, from talking to the women who played before the ban, but they said they thought the FA were jealous because they were getting bigger crowds,” Newsham said.

“I don’t know the crowd for the men’s game, but even so, whatever it was, they were coming out the following day in those numbers to watch a women’s football match. I think that may be the start of it.

“It’s just my view, based on what the women who were there told me.

“It would have sent shockwaves across the country.”

Playing on

Contemporary newspaper reports showed the FA’s decision was met by backlash from male sports stars, but their pleas to let the women continue to play fell on deaf ears.

Dick, Kerr Ladies soldiered on despite the ban — helped by the company owning a modest ground that the ladies were given permission to use, as well as playing in rugby grounds or even inside greyhound tracks.

“A lot of them said they would carry on playing as long as the charities needed them and as long as the public wanted to come and watch them, which they did,” Newsham said.

With home fields all but barred to the Dick, Kerr Ladies, the team toured the United States in 1922.

The team was renamed as Preston Ladies in 1926 and continued to provide a home team for talented players right the way through until the team folded in 1965.

“Lizzy Ackers, who played for St Helens before the ban, told me that she felt a bit inferior to the players when she joined,” Newsham said.

“She said, ‘We were famous and everyone wanted to see us’. I can still see the glint in her eye when she told me that.”

The legacy

A century before the all-conquering US Women’s National Team, Dick, Kerr Ladies could lay claim to being the best women’s team of all time.

A bronze statue of a woman wearing a striped shirt and cap
The National Football Museum unveiled a statue of Lily Parr in 2019.(Supplied: National Football Museum)

Its players were stars, be it centre-back and captain Alice Kell, through to goalscoring duo Florrie Redford and Jennie Harris.

Then there’s Lily Parr, the first woman to be inducted into the National Football Museum’s hall of fame in 2002.

She even had a statue commissioned of her — another first for the UK — and in 2021 will have an entire exhibit dedicated to her.

Rachel Maidment from the Association of Independent Museums, which helped fund the exhibit, described Parr as “an inspiration to generations both on and off the field”.

However, the truth is that with the ban in place, women like Parr were hidden away, unable to become the role models they could have, and perhaps should have been.

“Imagine saying to Sam Kerr, or Steph Houghton, or Megan Rapinoe, ‘That’s it, you’re not playing any more. You’re done’,” Newsham said.

“Imagine saying that to them. Because that’s what happened to those women. Is that fair?”

Megan Rapinoe stands with her arms outstretched in front of a crowd of spectators
Megan Rapinoe is one of the world’s most recognisable female players.(AP: Francisco Seco)

A double-edged sword

Newsham said it was about time the trailblazers of women’s football were now being recognised, not just Dick, Kerr Ladies.

With women’s football now soaring in popularity across the world, Newsham admitted to being envious of the current crop of players, who are being embraced and made into the stars they deserve to be.

“It’s a double-edged sword really,” Newsham said.

“I’m thrilled because nobody can tell me women’s football isn’t entertaining.

“I’ve been a flag-waver for women’s football all my life … and I remember how it was for us.

“We had nowhere to go. We had no role models. If I were playing as a kid, I would be Bobby Charlton.

Elilse Kellond-Knight takes a selfie with fans
Fans now have players to look up to in the women’s game.(Instagram: Elise Kellond-Knight)

Newsham has dedicated herself to ensuring people know about the women that the officials forgot.

It’s her research, through her book and website, that resulted in Lily Parr being recognised as a genuine footballing pioneer, alongside her teammates.

She said people needed to be reminded of the history to appreciate the present.

“Generations of people in this country have been brought up believing that football is not a game for women,” Newsham said.

“It’s been perpetuated throughout the generations and that’s how we’ve been brought up, and a lot of people still perceive it to be like that today.

“Only when you realise how great we once were, can you understand how great we can be again.”

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‘Ladies Beware of Richard Isaac’: How a 22-year history of domestic violence led to the murder of Victoria Selby-Readman

Victoria Selby-Readman believed Richard Isaac when he said he needed a place to stay because he’d been treated unfairly by his ex-girlfriend. She also needed a roommate to afford rent in her small downtown Toronto apartment after her boyfriend moved out following a breakup.

In fact, as Isaac moved in on May 15, 2018, there was a warrant out for his arrest.

Isaac, then 41, was wanted by Durham Regional Police for harassing and threatening to kill his ex-girlfriend and for violating a 2017 probation order imposed after he was convicted of assaulting another ex-girlfriend and smashing her phone so she couldn’t call police.

But Isaac wasn’t arrested. And about three weeks after he moved in, he murdered Victoria Selby-Readman.

Interviews, court documents and police records obtained by the Star show Isaac has a long history of harassment and violence against multiple women in his life and a violent criminal record spanning 22 years. He spent 16 of those years on probation, during which he went through counselling for domestic abuse, alcoholism and anger management. By 2018, a judge declined the Crown’s request to place him on probation again for the ninth time, saying it had clearly made no difference in the past.

Years earlier, at Isaac’s fifth sentencing hearing for assaulting his wife, a judge went through his criminal record and said: “I fear very much, sir, that regardless of your sincerity and how upset you are, that you are inherently a dangerous man and you cannot control yourself.”

In the short time Isaac lived with Selby-Readman, the 28-year-old writer and bike courier grew increasingly upset by his drinking and verbal aggression.

Meanwhile, the harassment of his ex-girlfriend was escalating, prompting police to lay new charges after the ex-girlfriend gave a police statement during which Isaac was still trying to call her. When a police officer answered the phone and told him to stop contacting her, Isaac laughed.

The ex-girlfriend’s boss was so alarmed by Isaac’s actions that on May 23, 2018, she accompanied her terrified employee to the police station to insist Isaac be arrested, telling officers she was afraid of what Isaac might do.

“I told them: ‘This is going to end badly,” Renee John, the supervisor, said in an interview with the Star.

“Typically, a person, when a warrant is out for their arrest, they evade the police. Not this guy. He didn’t care.”

Selby-Readman was seen alive for the last time on surveillance cameras heading toward her apartment on the evening of June 8, 2018. She’d been frustrated about his drinking and had texted her dad that afternoon saying she wanted Isaac gone “today.” Police and prosecutors believe Isaac killed her that evening and remained in the apartment with her body — leaving only to buy more alcohol — until June 11 when his father picked him up.

According to prosecutors, Isaac replied to text messages from Selby Readman’s father the day after he killed her — a move to deter suspicion until he could flee.

After Isaac’s arrest for Selby-Readman’s murder on June 16, 2018 , police received several other reports he had been harassing and berating women he met via dating apps and Facebook, behaviour that had led to the creation of a Facebook group called: “Ladies Beware of Richard Isaac.”

Just over a month ago, on Oct. 29, a jury found Isaac guilty of second-degree murder. Nine of the 12 jurors recommended he get a life sentence with no chance at parole for 25 years, the maximum available.

The pattern that emerges from Isaac’s criminal history is immediately familiar to courts, inquests, policy-makers and advocates. His long history of domestic violence charges and convictions, a pending breakup, a terrified ex-girlfriend, his failure to comply with court orders, excessive alcohol use, obsessive behaviour, and his misogynist attitudes are all common risk factors in intimate-partner homicides. And though Selby-Readman was not his former partner, his proximity to her in their shared apartment as his harassment of his ex-girlfriend escalated put her at risk.

Experts say this case — like Renfrew County murders in 2015 and dozens more since — exposes the consequences of a justice system that has shown itself over and over again unable to rehabilitate domestic abusers and keep women safe.

John said she believes Selby-Readman’s death could have been prevented if more effort was made to find Isaac, who had shown obvious signs he was a danger to others.

“This was avoidable,” she said.

Court records show Isaac was first convicted of criminal harassment and assault in 1996, in Brampton. He was convicted of assaulting his wife a total of five times, serving brief stints in jail followed by probation for the first three until 2008 when he was sentenced to six months in jail and three years of probation for assault and failing to comply with a probation order. Heavy drinking was cited as a factor in his offending.

In October 2014, he was convicted for the last time of assaulting his wife of 20 years, who had by then filed for divorce.

“I may have had a case of a pattern of abusive behaviour that has more entries than that, but I cannot recall in the last 14 years that I have had anything as serious as that,” said the judge who sentenced Isaac.

According to the agreed facts, in May 2014 they were still living together with their two young children. After a heated argument at a basketball court that continued with Isaac yelling at his wife in the car until they got home, Isaac kicked her three times until she ran to her neighbour’s home to call 911. She also told the children to run and told police she was worried he would harm them. Police arrived to find Isaac drunk. Their scared son reluctantly told police that Isaac grabbed him by the shirt collar and threatened him saying: “If I come back, I’m going to kill you, I’ll cut your throat and rip your heart out.”

Isaac remained in jail after his arrest and a no-contact order with his wife was imposed by the court, but a few weeks after the assault, Isaac’s wife reported that he’d sent letters to their home addressed to his deceased mother. The letters, the content of which was clearly directed at his wife, included what the court described as “heartfelt apologies” aimed at reconciling with his family.

Isaac was convicted of assault, threatening death and breaching a noncommunication order. He served 11 months in jail with three more years of probation.

It’s unclear whether Isaac was required to participate in any counselling or rehabilitative programs during this period of probation, his eighth. A judge would later question the utility of a ninth probation in his case, though the Crown suggested it could be useful in getting him counselling. “Why should we burden probation when a person is obviously showing no interest?” Justice Ramez Khawly said.

Isaac’s court records show that he went to the Partner Assault Response (PAR) program, as well as anger management counselling and substance use counselling — though it is unclear how long he spent in counselling and if it specifically addressed domestic abuse. There remain limited programs or supports to help men who commit domestic violence and it’s unclear how effective the PAR program has been in general, said Pamela Cross, the legal director of Luke’s Place, which provides legal support to women facing domestic violence. The program, which was also controversially cut from 16 sessions to just 12 in 2015, is intended for first-offenders, not repeat offenders.

“If we want to stop men from being abusive to women, we have to work with men so that they don’t want to behave like that. But I’m not convinced we’ve taken the right steps to determine what the right program would be,” Cross said.

In 2016, Isaac met a woman on Tinder, according to court transcripts. After about six weeks, she ended the relationship but, she told police, Isaac would not stop texting her. He showed up at her house after midnight and knocked on her door. She called the police and he left. She asked police to tell him to stop contacting her.

The pair continued to see each other, and the woman broke up with Isaac again in April 2017. She told police Isaac was yelling at her, and when she told him to leave and that she’d call the police, he grabbed her phone and held her down on the couch so she couldn’t leave. Her landlord who lived above her heard banging and came down to see if the woman needed help. The woman said yes and went into her landlord’s home to call police. Isaac later called the police himself to report an assault. He was charged with assault, mischief and forcible confinement and was ultimately convicted of assault and mischief a year later. His bail conditions required him to live with his father in Brampton and to remain at home between 6 p.m. and 5 a.m., unless he was in the presence of his surety.

He’d soon be charged with violating that bail condition.

In October 2017, Isaac began what an agreed statement of facts later described as an “acrimonious” relationship with another woman he’d met on Tinder. According to police reports, he moved into her downtown Toronto condo almost immediately and repeatedly assaulted her over the next few weeks. In mid-November 2017, police laid charges of assault, forcible confinement and mischief, as well as violating his bail conditions, and Isaac was denied bail. The charges were withdrawn on March 8, 2018, when the woman recanted her statements to police.

Experts familiar with domestic violence cases say recantation by a victim is common for several reasons, including fear of their abuser; pressure from the abuser or his family; continued love for their abuser; and concern about the consequences he might face, including his safety in jail or the loss of a job. Recanting doesn’t automatically mean the abuse did not occur, said Farrah Khan, manager of Ryerson’s Office of Sexual Violence Support and Education. “It can be part of a safety plan or a harm-reduction strategy,” she said.

Isaac pleaded guilty to breaching a bail order because he called her from jail a month after he was arrested. “He told her that he loved her, that I’ll be back and that I’m never going to hurt you again,” the Crown said describing the agreed facts on March 9, 2018. The Crown sought a probation order, with a no-contact order revocable with her consent.

When asked if he had anything to say, Isaac told the court: “I won’t do it again.” But if a no-contact ordered was granted, he said, the couple would soon apply for it be lifted.

Justice Khawly said he had his “own views” about the woman’s testimony, and noted Isaac’s long record. “If you don’t think you’ve got a circle on your back, a nice mark with an X, if you don’t think the cops are looking out for you you are kidding yourself … that record gives them impetus to say that’s a bad apple,” he told Isaac.

He sentenced Isaac to time-served, with year-long peace bond and a no-contact order revocable with written consent from the woman.

Later that month, Isaac was given a suspended sentence for his charges related to his other former girlfriend and a two-year probation order.

The relationship between him and his current girlfriend began to break down in April and May 2018, according to a later agreed statement of facts.

The no-contact order was lifted with her consent and the couple reunited and moved in together for a few weeks.

In April, the woman’s sister called police to the Ajax home owned by the woman after a fight. The woman told police she just wanted Isaac to leave and he did. No charges were laid.

In early May, police were called to the home again, this time by the woman’s brother-in-law. Police were told by the woman that Isaac was living in an Ajax home she owned and that he was drunk and needed medical attention. Police arrested Isaac, believing he was banned from consuming alcohol, and took him to the hospital. He was released the same day when they realized he did not have an alcohol-related court order.

On the morning of May 12, police were called to the home by the basement tenant for reports of a man and woman fighting. The caller first believed there was a fight going on in-person but later realized it was by phone. Isaac was there and was initially handcuffed while police looked for the woman who was not there. Police then tried to find the woman, and spoke to her brother-in-law who said the woman had repeatedly come over to their home with injuries but that she didn’t want to report Isaac to the police. Isaac had been calling him too. He told police she was staying with a friend, but when police went there she’d gone.

When police went back to the Ajax home to arrest Isaac that afternoon, he’d gone. Durham Police sent a message to Peel police to try and arrest him at his father’s house in Brampton, and police contacted Isaac by phone to tell him to turn himself in. He was wanted on two counts of criminal harassment.

Three days later, on May 15, 2018, he moved in with Selby-Readman.

“She had everything planned,” Selby-Readman’s best friend Alexandra Palermo said. Selby-Readman needed a temporary roommate just until she could start working more hours as a bike courier. It would mean cutting down the time she could spend writing — Selby-Readman was a fan of Sylvia Plath and Edgar Allan Poe and was working on her own collection of short stories — but it would also give her independence, which she was excited about, Palermo said. She believes Selby-Readman found Isaac in a community Facebook group and he moved in almost immediately on May 15, 2018.

It was three days after police put out the warrant for him.

“This is something you never think would happen,” Palermo said.

Victoria Selby-Readman, seen here in another family photo.

Isaac continued to harass his ex-girlfriend even after the warrant for his arrest was issued, according to a series of police reports she made.

The woman was reached by police and said she told them she was afraid for her safety. Police connected her with Victim Services. She called police the next day because she was afraid to go into the home alone, but then said she’d return later with a relative. Police told her Isaac had not been arrested.

She called police again on May 14, 2018, and tried to do a three-way call but Isaac hung up. He still had not been arrested and the officer she spoke to put in a request to expedite the warrant.

On May 16, she called police thinking Isaac was in her backyard. She showed them 25 phone calls, along with messages he’d sent her in breach of their no-contact order. She also showed police photos of her damaged work laptop. But though she was afraid of him, police records state that she also maintained she did not want Isaac to be charged and refused to provide a statement. She said she didn’t want him to go to jail and that he was going through mental health problems.



Meanwhile, Selby-Readman was becoming alarmed by Isaac’s drinking, her friend Palermo said. She started to want to be at home less. When Isaac first moved in, he was injured and stayed home but once he became mobile again, the drinking got worse.

Palermo said Selby-Readman didn’t seem afraid of Isaac — she didn’t think he’d harm her or that it had reached the point where the police should be called. But she also didn’t want to be around him drunk.

Shortly after Isaac moved in, Selby-Readman sent Palermo a text message with Isaac’s Facebook details.

“You need to know who this guy is in case anything get crazy bc no one knows he’s here,” she said. She had only told her parents she had a roommate but didn’t give them details.

Palermo said the message was sent in the way young women share photos and licence plate numbers of dates when meeting someone for the first time. A survival mechanism so common that it wasn’t hugely alarming on its own — though it made Palermo encourage Victoria to have Isaac move out as soon as possible. Thinking about it now, she said, is chilling.

On May 18, Selby-Readman texted Palermo and said: “I want to kick this fkn idiot out of my place he’s so annoying,” and: “He is so crazy yelling at (his ex-girlfriend) literally all fkn night.” She complained about him drinking and considered calling the police. Palermo warned her to be careful Isaac isn’t violent and Selby-Readman said that if she did call the cops, she’d wait in the hall or the lobby for them or with building security.

In the following days, Isaac continued to harass his ex-girlfriend, eventually posting videos of his ex-girlfriend online in a “compromising position” where she appeared drunk which caused her to be fearful of him, according to an agreed statement of facts.

Renee John, the woman’s supervisor, was immediately concerned when she saw the videos Isaac sent via the company’s Facebook page on May 21, including false claims that the woman didn’t have the degree she’d claimed, and that she was violent towards him.

“He was on a mission to decimate her character,” John said.

The woman had recently confided in John that she was ending an abusive relationship with Isaac, and John offered to help. As a volunteer victim services crisis responder in Durham region, she often helps victims of domestic violence and knew the danger her employee could be in. Less than two months earlier, her friend Krassimira Pejcinovski — an esthetician from a spa down the street from John’s Ajax home — was murdered alongside her two teenage children, allegedly at the hands of her ex-boyfriend.

After seeing the videos, John emailed Durham police, telling a detective in a May 22 email that police needed to see the videos.

“I am concerned for her safety,” John wrote.

On May 23, after Isaac continued to repeatedly call and message the woman, John accompanied her to the Durham police station in Pickering to give a statement, after which more charges were laid. While they were at the station, Isaac called the woman. Police said he laughed when they got on the phone with him.

The woman reported that he had been harassing her for weeks, contacting her sometimes up to 100 times a day causing her to fear for her safety. She said he’d threatened to kill her and her family and that, if she ever dated another man, he’d kill that man.

In her own statement to police, John said she believed Isaac was spiralling and wasn’t attempting to hide his behaviour from police, despite his arrest warrant.

“He wasn’t afraid. He clearly wasn’t concerned about repercussions,” John said.

A history of abuse and a recent breakup are two key risk factors in predicting domestic homicides, along with increasingly obsessive behaviour and an addiction that is no longer under control, said Cross.

Police noted that Isaac had not updated his address with his probation officer, in violation of his conditions.

Despite the arrest warrant and requests from the woman and John to take him into custody, Isaac wasn’t arrested.

The woman told Isaac’s probation officer and the police on June 5, 2018, that she thought he was living in the Harbourfront area of Toronto with a girl named “Nikki,” which could have been a reference to Selby-Readman.

Palermo and another friend of Selby-Readman’s told police that Isaac’s ex-girlfriend had gotten in contact with Selby-Readman, and text messages show Selby-Readman had learned that Isaac was wanted by police in some way.

The Star asked Durham police what efforts were made to locate Isaac while the warrant was out for his arrest, including whether officers in Toronto and Peel were contacted to join the search, or if Isaac’s probation officer was called to help find him. Dave Selby, a spokesperson for Durham police, said because Isaac’s case is still active — he has a sentencing hearing in December — “it would be inappropriate to discuss any details.”

Palermo still wants answers.

“If someone has a violent history and they are supposed to be checking in with their probation officer … why are you not going to find him?” Palermo said. “It’s just a file to them, but look what happened.”

Cross wonders whether a form of Clare’s Law could have helped Selby-Readman, and the other women who became involved in relationships with Isaac.

The law, which has recently been introduced in Saskatchewan and originated in the U.K., allows people — typically in the context of a new romantic relationship — to contact the police to request information about whether a person has a history of domestic violence. A review by a panel will then determine if the information can be given for safety planning purposes.

The Saskatchewan law, the Interpersonal Violence Disclosure Protocol Act, has raised privacy issues, and concerns about varying levels of participation among police forces. The RCMP has refused to comply, citing privacy reasons, though they were involved in the drafting of the legislation. And it’s unclear how often it will be used.

But Cross said it provides another tool to help prevent violence against women.

“That information might have influenced (Selby-Readman’s) decision to have (Isaac) share the rent with her,” Cross said. It may have also been useful to the women who dated him, Cross said, noting that it can become harder for a woman to report abuse the longer she is involved in the relationship, often because she wants to help their abusive partner get better.

There are also limitations on what the justice system can do. Cross said more needs to be done to ensure that women who come forward to report are treated with respect and dignity, and that they understand what the justice system can do for them. There also need to be other ways to address harm that women may be more willing to participate in that don’t rely on criminal consequences, she said.

Khan said providing wraparound services to domestic violence survivors is crucial, from housing to financial support.

This case is among several that show the need to look at how a history of domestic abuse can factor into murders that are not classified as domestic, Cross said — something that is expected to be part of the public inquiry in the April 2020 Nova Scotia mass shooting. It’s part of the reason that femicides are documented and analyzed annually by the Canadian Femicide Observatory for Justice and Accountability.

Palermo last saw her best friend — they called each other “beefs” in a play on BFF — two days before she was killed. They took Palermo’s dog for a walk and sat at a picnic table in a park in front of her home. They talked about her plans for the future.

There was so much she wanted to do, Palermo said.

“She had such a sharp mind, she was the smartest person I knew,” Palermo said.

Selby-Readman had studied women’s studies, literature, philosophy and political science at the University of Toronto. She hoped to have children one day and adored animals including her beloved cat Bunny. The friends had written and filmed a screenplay together, which now languishes on Palermo’s laptop.

Selby-Readman was loved fiercely by her parents, her family and her friends, Palermo said.

“She was the missing puzzle piece that completed everybody. Now we are missing our piece,” Palermo said. “There was always light around her.”

Alyshah Hasham
Wendy Gillis
Wendy Gillis is a Toronto-based reporter covering crime and policing for the Star. Reach her by email at wgillis@thestar.ca or follow her on Twitter: @wendygillis

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Melbourne Cup 2020 fashion guide, schedule, races, Derby Day, Ladies Day, Stakes Day

The Flemington carnival is upon us and while there’s plenty of great racing to look forward to, thanks to COVID-19 we’re missing out on the “event” that is Cup Week.

For many diehard punters the racing obviously takes centre stage but, for others, much more effort goes into looking good than finding a winner.

With that in mind, we’ve compiled a style guide on how to dress up across the four day carnival — with a COVID twist, of course.



It’s the first day of the carnival and you want to make a good first impression — both on the punt and with your style. After all, even though you can’t get to the track, you can still have a small BBQ — fitting in with the respective states’ COVID laws and restrictions, of course.

The theme for Derby day is black and white — the race is a time-honoured classic and that’s how you should think when dressing up. Mostly black with a splash of white or grey, elegant is the go.

You dust off your favourite black suit — reserved for the classiest of weddings or most formal of work functions, matched with your best white shirt — even cufflinks — and a plain black tie. For such effort, the details matter, which is why you’re going with patent leather shoes — freshly polished — with black socks and a high quality belt. Like someone from a GQ cover, you want the entire room to notice when you walk in.


It’s Saturday morning. You’ve had all week to get your outfit ready but work, celebrating the ease of restrictions in Melbourne, and studying the form has taken up all your time.

You find your shoes are scuffed — an early setback.

Spirits are immediately lifted again when, thanks to COVID, your suit and shirt are still in the dry cleaning pack that you got back in March.

You shower and shave — you look schmick. However, just when you’re getting on good terms with yourself, the reality of COVID hits — you’ve put on more weight than first thought.

You can squirm your way into the pants — just.

You have to suck in but you make it work. The shirt? It was “fitted”, but now it looks like you first wore it to your year 10 formal. And the jacket? The buttons are under more pressure than the 200/1 pop leading the Melbourne Cup at the 600m. This just isn’t going to work.

You can stick with the pants, and while the shirt is too tight, you might be able to convince your mates you’ve hit the gym hard in lockdown and bulked up — genius! Except, gyms were closed.

The jacket is deemed unnecessary — it is spring, it’s not that cold and you would’ve taken it off throughout the day anyway.

Scuffed shoes aren’t ideal but they’ll have to do. You make a mental note to polish them before the next time you wear them (even though you know you won’t get around to it).

Finally, the belt. Predictably, it’s a notch tighter (if you’re lucky) than it was, but it’s still looking OK.


You were aiming for a 10/10 but with all things considered, you’ll take a 7.5.



The biggest event on the Australian racing calendar, the Melbourne Cup is truly “the race that stops a nation”. It’s the jewel in the crown as an event and you need to dress accordingly. You want to make a statement — females in bold colours, and males in a sharp suit, colourful tie and even a bold pocket square.

Your mum shopped for you well into your teenage years and your better half picks out your clothes now, but you still think you have an excellent fashion sense and this is your chance to show it. Saturday was the “boring” day, forced into the black and white and today, you’re showing how “cool” you really are. A suit that only you can pull off and colours that others wouldn’t dare to wear, you’ll make your claim to be walking the catwalk in Milan.


You haven’t been suit shopping in at least 12 months — your partner hasn’t had the chance to shop for you due to COVID, and you’re banned from going alone. And now you think about it, you don’t think you went last spring either.

The night before the Cup, you politely ask the better half why you can’t go by yourself, and she sternly says that “shopping post-spring carnival or post-Christmas to make sure you get a ‘bargain’ isn’t acceptable”.

Stupidly, you argue otherwise and, long story short, end up sleeping on the couch.

With a sore neck, Cup morning arrives and you’re picking out your clothes and forget how awesome your wardrobe is — there’s an array of options to choose from.

In the end, you settle with your old favourites and combine them.

Chosen suit? Edgy. Shirt? Contrasts beautifully. Tie? Majestic.

You stand in awe in front of the mirror — you’re a fashion icon and nobody would ever know you’ve had these clothes forever.

To top it off, you need a pocket square. You’ve got no idea where your last one is so you improvise.

You head to the pantry and grab the most colourful party napkin you can find. You fold it — in no particular order — and stuff it in your suit pocket. Bingo!


You’ve been out of the dressing-up game for months, but you’re as stylish as you were during last year’s carnival. 8/10.



Oaks Day is all about the girls. The feature race is a Group 1 for the three-year-old fillies and the day is affectionately known as “Ladies Day”. Accessorise with colour and femininity. From silk, to floral prints, to bright fascinators, the ladies are encouraged to show off their personality. For the guys, something lighter in colour is recommended but, whatever you do, don’t overshadow the girls!

This is perfect. You’re working today so need something that is appropriate for the races but equally acceptable on the work Zoom meeting. You’re “the guy” at work — laid-back and unfazed, confident and charismatic. You’re the life of the workplace and the first invited to after-work drinks. You’re Phil from The Hangover. Or James Bond.


It’s Oaks day and you opt for the “easy kill”, dressing up in your partner’s clothes for a cheap laugh. She doesn’t respond to it well at all — especially as there appears to be a rip that wasn’t there before. The group chat is equally weirded out when you send a photo through, declaring it “not funny at all”.

The easy kill didn’t go to plan and the plunge went astray — your tail is between your legs nice and early. No matter, you can boost the confidence with your Oaks day outfit.

Something lighter in colour is a loose description and while it probably means a grey or navy type set-up, well, the usual rules don’t apply to you.

You whip out a pair of white pants you wore to the polo a couple of years ago. Again, you have to suck in to get them on but you otherwise look a treat.

You spilled red wine on your best white shirt on Saturday, and the only other option is the standard shirt you wear for work. You wore it three times last week and haven’t washed it since, but you’re at home — nobody will know and it goes perfectly with the white pants.

There was a lot of all-white at the polo when you went three years ago and while you decided they all looked like w***ers, you can pull it off. You reach into the closet and grab your white/cream suit jacket. It’s not been worn for a long time and you even find a $23.78 TAB voucher in the pocket — a significant win.

Looking in the mirror, you’ve nailed it. You look like Richie Benaud crossed with White Goodman.


In the words of the great Richie, you’re looking “simply marvellous”. 9/10.



Stakes day — or family day — closes out the carnival. It’s by far the most relaxed day of the four and, while the party continues, the kids are invited on course. Children of all ages will dress up — bright and colourful numbers will capture the relaxed atmosphere — while those unattached are still there looking the business.

You’re at home and not going to the track so after a big three days of reacquainting yourself with the wardrobe, you embrace the more relaxed atmosphere and dress down. Don’t sell yourself short, the charisma and class remains and you’re still looking the goods, you’re just not in the full bag of fruit.


Barely any of your clothes fit (thanks COVID) and those that do all need a wash. While you consider (yet another) worn shirt, you can’t justify it as you’re heading to a BBQ.

The idea is floated to head out and purchase a new polo shirt, but the week has drained your account. Obviously it’s not your fault, you’re just a victim of an unfair track, bad rides and s**t weather.

You contemplate not punting today to buy the new shirt, but common sense prevails — this will not be happening.

You have a brain wave — why not channel Twitter phenomenon “Random Souths Guy”?

The better half asks “what in the world is Random Souths Guy?”

You tell her that, somehow, at almost any sporting event across the world there is a bloke wearing a South Sydney Rabbitohs top. Whether it be WWE, international cricket, baseball — he’s there. If Twitter loves him, so will your mates — once again, you’ll be the talk of the BBQ.

You whip out the shorts, your favourite sporting team apparel and a pair of thongs. It’s not as stylish as your previous three days, but by golly are you comfortable.

The partner isn’t thrilled, but she loves you anyway.

The get-up is a success, and you only end up with one regret — after being bundled out in the first leg of the quaddie, you realise you could have at least spent the cash on a new shirt.

The regret quickly subsides though, as a whole bunch of sauce and onions from your snag on bread drops all over the sporting apparel — crisis averted.


Comfortable, supportive of your team and avoided dirtying a new shirt. 10/10.

So there you have it. You’ve got through Cup Week and despite COVID interrupting your year, your wardrobe was as successful as ever.

Congratulations on successfully making it through another Flemington carnival.

And, I can’t believe I have to point this out, but let’s remember the “no socks look” with a suit is never, ever OK. It doesn’t matter who you see doing it — it’s not cool, it never has been and never will be. It simply shows a lack of class and you look like a genuine t***er.

This article first appeared on punters.com.au and was reproduced with permission

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Taralga ladies celebrate 50th reunion of the Women’s Royal Australian Naval Service | Goulburn Post

community, news, taralga, naval, Australia, reunion, remembrance day

Remembrance Day on November 11 is of great significance to all Australians. It is a day where we remember and commemorate all of the service men and women who gave their lives through two world wars and various military conflicts throughout the years. READ ALSO: Exhibition delves into city’s early connection with explorers It is also a very significant time for 15 women, all former members of the Women’s Royal Australian Naval Service (WRANS). Throughout our period of service we became good friends, as we served in various naval establishments. There were many good times and lots of laughs. However, as our terms of service were coming to an end, we decided to hold a reunion every year on November 11. Being Remembrance Day we felt that as we got older, surely we couldn’t forget that date. CHECK OUT: Aussie cricket great calls on fellow farmers to get skin checked regularly Our first reunion was in 1970, this year will be our fiftieth reunion. During the years there have been some fun times but also some sad times. Some of the girls have lost their husbands and two of the girls have lost a child. Through the good and the sad times we have supported each other and as the years have passed the bonds of friendship have become even stronger. READ MORE: Save Our Voices: we hear you, says regional minister I have been very fortunate to be able to attend each of our reunions, even through a period of illness. This year our fiftieth reunion, due to COVID-19 our interstate members are unable to be with us, however seven of us will be attending the Remembrance Day service at Taralga. The other girls will get together in Queensland and Western Australia.


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Rose Ladies cancelled due to wildfire at Wentworth, with  Charley Hull announced as Order of Merit winner

The Rose Ladies Series Grand Final has been cut short because of a large wildfire near Wentworth, with Charley Hull announced as the Order of Merit winner.

The famed West course in Surrey was evacuated during Friday’s third and last round after fire spread from Chobham Common, close to the 10th hole.

Series organisers have been unable to find an alternative date and venue due to the resumption of the Ladies European Tour with the Scottish Open next week. As a result the tournament reverted to 36 holes, which were played on Wednesday and Thursday at North Hants and Berkshire.

Alice Hewson — a rookie this year on the Ladies European Tour — who led going into Friday, has been declared the winner of the Grand Final Tournament picking up a cheque for £10,000. Order of Merit winner Hull won £20,000. 

Kate Rose, who founded the series two months ago, presented the prizes behind closed doors at Wentworth on Saturday morning. 

The Roses, along with sponsors American Golf and Computacenter, had paid accommodation costs for players on Saturday night after play had been originally suspended until 9.30am on Saturday. However, the wildfire blazed throughout the night and nearby homes had to be evacuated. After meetings with the emergency services, it was decided that course had to remain closed on Saturday.

The three-day grand final followed seven one-day tournaments being held in England in June and July. It was the first time a professional ladies’ tournament had been held on Wentworth’s revered West course.

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