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Week 2

Sport and History


Week 2: ‘The People’s Game’

Class reading:

KOLLER, CHRISTIAN, et al. “The People’s Game.” Goal!, Catholic University of America Press, 2015, pp. 43–70,
Matthew Taylor, 'The Global Spread of Football', in The Oxford Handbook of Sports History,


How did football become 'the people's game'?

How did it impact on working class life?

What role did Scotland play in the emergence of football as a mass sport?

What does Taylor tell us about the global spread of football?

Important further reading

Eduardo Galeano, Football in Sun and Shadow, pp.18-29 (From 'The Ball' to 'Creole Football')

David Goldblatt, The People's Game, Ch.3 pp. 51-81

C. Bolsmann and D. Porter, English Gentlemen and World Soccer: Corinthians, Amatuerism and the Global game (2018)

Matthew Brown, From Frontiers to Football (2014)

Andreas Campomar, Golazo!A History of Latin American Football (2014), chs. 1-3.

Collins, T. (2019). How Football Began. London: Routledge,

Graham Curry (2019) The making of modern soccer: a product of multiple
interdependencies, Soccer & Society, 20:7-8, 1014-1024, DOI: 10.1080/14660970.2019.1680500

Richard Elliott and John Harris (eds) Football and migration: perspectives, places, players (2015)

Gary James and Day, ‘The emergence of an Association Football Culture in Manchester 1840-84’, Sport in History, 34, 1 (2014)

Gary James (2015) Manchester's Footballing Pioneers, 1863–1904: A Collective Biography, The International Journal of the History of Sport, 32:9, 1143-1159, DOI: 10.1080/09523367.2015.1055727

Christan Koller and Fabian Braendle, Goal! : a cultural and social history of modern football (2016), Ch.3. [ebook]

Charles P. Korr (1978) ‘West Ham United Football Club and the Beginnings of Professional Football in East London, 1895-1914’, Journal of Contemporary History, 13(2), p. 211. Available at:

Markovits, A. S., & Hellerman, S. L. (2014). Offside: Soccer and American Exceptionalism Princeton: Princeton University Press. doi: opens in a new window

Tony Mason, Passion of the People?: Football in Latin America ((1995)

Joshua Nadel, Futbol: Why Soccer matters in Latin America (2014)

Matthew Taylor, ‘The Global Spread of Football’, in The Oxford Handbook of Sports History

Stephen Wagg, The Football World: A Contemporary social history [1984]

James Walvin, The People’s Game: A History of Football Revisited (2014)


Topics to be discussed:

Amateur vs professional, role of class & gender, the ‘spirit of cricket’

Questions to think about:

How and why does cricket emerge as an organised sport in 18thC England?

What causes the key changes to the game in the 19thC?

Why does the demarkation between amateurs and professionals last so long?

What is the 'spirit of cricket'?

TV Empire of Cricket England [via uni login]

Key Reading:

Anthony Bateman 'Cricket pastoral and Englishness' in The Cambridge Companion to Cricket

Keith A. P. Sandiford Amateurs and Professionals in Victorian County Cricket Albion: A Quarterly Journal Concerned with British Studies, Vol. 15, No. 1 (Spring, 1983), pp. 32-51


Hoyle's Games Improved [1775] (Laws of Cricket on p211)

Robert Edelman and Wayne Wilson, The Oxford Handbook of Sports History, Part One: Theorizing Sports History (2017)

Rob Light 'Cricket in the eighteenth century' in The Cambridge Companion to Cricket

Duncan Stone 'Cricket's regional identities: the development of cricket and identity in Yorkshire and Surrey' Sport in Society (2008)

Keith A. P. Sandiford Cricket and the Victorian Society Journal of Social History, Vol. 17, No. 2 (Winter, 1983), pp. 303-317

John Ford, Cricket a Social history (1972)

David Fraser, Cricket and the law: the man in the white is always right (1993)

C L R James, Cricket (1986)

C L R James, Beyond a Boundary (1963)

Mike Marqusse, Anyone but England: cricket, race and class (1998)

Keith Sandiford, Cricket and the Victorians (1994)