Dr Matt McDowell of Edinburgh University has found one of the first reported incidents of hooliganism was between two groups of women fans.
Reported in 1898, a clash erupted after a match between Morton (now Greenock Morton) and the now-defunct Glasgow Athletic.
One woman needed medical attention after the fight which was described by local reports as being between mill girls.
McDowell, a lecturer in sport and recreation management, discovered the contemporary newspaper account.
He said: "Women were definitely a part of the real and rhetorical universe of these footballers, despite our necessity to take some of these accounts with a grain of salt."
The report from the Port Glasgow Express and Observer said: "They appeared last night in swarms on Princes Street.
"Shouts of 'Good old Port; dirty Morton' and 'Dirty Port; Good old Morton' were heard all over the place. The Morton contingent proceeded down the Greenock Road, and a conflict ensued about William Street.
"There was a general scuffle among the girls and stone stones were thrown.
"One girl was so badly hit on the eye that had to be taken into the surgery of a doctor at hand."
Dr McDowell presented his research at a recent conference arranged by De Montfort University's International Centre for Sports History and Culture in Leicester.