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2020 - Football's Most Important Year?

Well well well...2020. What a mad year. This time last year, few could predict the unprecedented events which would develop as the world went into lockdown. The coronavirus pandemic has swept through nation after nation disrupting all aspects of life. Even football, which often seems untouchable, was shutdown in March. Upon its restart in June, stadiums usually full of tens of thousands of supporters were left deserted as the game struggled to cope. Our first book, Football's Fifty Most Important Moments was released in April, just a month after the UK's first lockdown began. As a result, interviews on various podcasts would consistently ask that if the book were to be released later - would the COVID-19 pandemic be included. Undoubtedly, yes. 2020 will be regarded as one of the game's most pivotal years - but what other years deserve their place in football history?  1857 Six years before the codification of football under the 'association rules', the game was beg

Football Family History: Keeping up with the Joneses

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I've always found it fascinating when someone I know tells me about a famous ancestor. What makes it more impressive is when the historical family member turns out to be someone in football. My Dad loves family history and has spent many hours compiling an extensive family tree stretching back centuries. Despite finding hundreds of relations, we had believed that none were involved in the beautiful game. Perhaps a great deal of the difficulty in finding any meaningful ancestors is due in part to our surname - Jones. With the most common second name in Wales, being sure that an 'ancestry hint' is definitive is difficult to prove. That was until last week when my father let me know about James Alfred Jones.  Admittedly, there is some climbing the tree and navigating some narrow branches before reaching James, but he is a relation, nonetheless. To be precise, he is my great x4 Grandfather Hugh Jones' great nephew. You wouldn't find 'Who Do You Think You Are?'

‘A kick-a-bout with fascists’: The British press, public and Government opinion on the England vs Germany football match played in London in 1935

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‘A kick-a-bout with fascists’: The British press, public and Government opinion on the England vs Germany football match played in London in 1935  Introduction On 4th December 1935, England’s football team played against their German opponents at White Hart Lane. The stadium was packed to the rafters with 60,000 supporters, including 10,000 German fans, cheering on their team. The German side was shown to be inferior on the pitch, with the English side dominating many aspects of the game. Despite a valiant performance from the German goal keeper, H. Jacob, the match ended 3-0 in favour of England after their relentless attacking display resulted in two goals being scored by their centre forward, Camsell, and another goal by Cliff Bastin.[1] The match was regarded as an uneventful affair in some papers with both sides showing great spirit and respect for each other.[2] This fixture, however, was not just a normal international friendly. The implications surrounding this match demonstra

The Influential Game - Football and Charity

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Football has an incredible influence on the world around it. With more countries part of FIFA than there are members of the UN, it is easy to see why. The modern game is often criticised by onlookers, supporters and even politicians for being a sport removed from the public, and one in which money conquers all. There is some weight to these arguments, but are they always accurate? The short answer would be no. Football has a long an intriguing history with charity stretching right back to the origins of its codification in 1863. From early public schools to the incredible free school meals campaign of Marcus Rashford - let's see how the beautiful game has tried to make the world benefit from its influence. Football has been closely linked to charitable acts ever since its codification. As a sport, the original intentions of the game were never for financial profit. Gate receipts welcomed at the ever-increasing number of matches during the 1860s and 1870s could therefore be distribu