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Showing posts from April, 2019

Football and Education: Wales - Rugby or Football?

Growing up in Wales, P.E. lessons were dominated by one sport - rugby. Gareth and I both attended the same high-school in Cardiff, and both enjoyed playing the game from time-to-time. But for us, football was always our number one. Coming from Wales, people are sometimes surprised that rugby indeed takes a back seat in our interests and that our love for football only grows stronger each day. This got us thinking, what really is the most popular sport in Wales? Our recent paper - "Football and Education: Class, Identity and the Dunce Hat", looked in depth at the role football has played in schools since the 1850s and highlighted its influence on children around Britain. The next step for us was to look deeper at the sport and its role in schools in different areas of the UK, to see if certain regions are indeed impacted heavier than others. In a land so used to rugby, how has football changed the lives of school children across Wales? Heading back to the birth of associatio

Football By Decade: The Complete Century

One of our first series of blogs was all about how football changed and evolved in the twentieth century. Looking at the game, decade by decade we explored the impact of football on different nations - the UK, France, Spain, Italy and Germany. Eventually, as football moved on we recognized the effects of major tournaments and continental competition in the creation of a modern game. As commercialism and consumerism took over, how did some clubs prosper and others struggle to keep the pace? Starting in 1900 - we run right the way through the end of the millennium in 1999. Click the links below to explore! 1900 1910 1920 1930 1940 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990

The 1999 World Cup: A Breakthrough in the Women's Game

In our recent series, The Most Important Moments in Women's Football History, there was one moment which, to us, seemed to epitomize the growth of the game like no other - the 1999 World Cup. Hosted by the 1991 World Champions, the USA - the tournament has since been heralded as a milestone for the women's game. In this piece, we are going to explore why the competition was such a success, who were the major players and what did people make of it around the world? Following the success of the Olympic Games in Atlanta and the previous editions of the Women's World Cups - the natural hosts in 1999 were of course, the United States. By the end of the millennium, soccer fever stemming from the reception of the men's tournament in 1994 and women's success at the 1996 Olympics, had well and truly gripped the US. The greater number of fans and indeed, prospective spectators, would lead to larger stadia and significant effort being put into the tournament. Originally, t

Football in the 1930s: A Forgotten Decade?

Looking back through our series, The 50 Most Important Moments in Football History, there is one era we felt has been unfairly excluded from the list. The era is the 1930s. A decade which saw huge change across the world, how was football affected? As totalitarian regimes and new deals were promised, new superpowers arose - but did football see any significant modification? Of course, the introduction of the World Cup would spread the game globally, but how did technological advancements and social developments impact the game into the one we see today? It is important to understand the global arena football was to be played in order to fully grasp how it would adapt and evolve in the 1930s. The decade was welcomed on the back of one of the worst financial disasters in history - The Wall Street Crash. For many of us, the 2008 Credit Crunch still leaves painful memories as austerity politics dominate UK political governance still to this day. In the 1930s, it was even worse. The cras

The 1982 World Cup: The Best Ever?

     Recently, we asked via our Twitter page, ‘What is the first World Cup you can remember?’ The response was staggering and much greater than we could have imagined. Indeed, one of the most common answers was the 1982 tournament in Spain. For many, that year's competition showcased football at its best - attacking, creative and of course with its fair share of controversy. It is a tournament which has led some critics to believe it to be the best of all-time. We thought it necessary, therefore to look closer at this memorable summer of football. So where to start? The group stage seems a safe bet...wait...there was two group stages in ‘82!? Here we go!  The World Cup had grown in popularity considerably since its introduction in 1930. Until 1982 however, the tournament was limited to just 16 teams. 16 international sides hardly represented the growth and evolution of the game and sure enough, eight more teams were added to the group stages in Spain. This, of course, meant