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Showing posts from September, 2022

Not so Much Football Fever, More Like Mild Summer Symptoms: An alternative perspective on the build up to the 1966 World Cup

‘History is written by the victors’ is a quote often miss attributed to Winston Churchill, what he actually said was something along similar lines when challenging the then Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin in the 1930’s. “I shall write the history”[1] was his portentous prediction, so when Churchill came to write that ‘History of the English Speaking People’ in 1956 all that he wrote was coloured by what he knew to be ‘so’ and what his readers expected from their esteemed wartime leader.  Why is this of any relevance to the myriad of books, films and articles that study the 1966 World Cup? Let’s take “Two World Wars and One World Cup” the jingoistic chant, thankfully now rarely heard, this draws on such familiarity of received knowledge. Ignoring for a moment the evidence that Germany, as recipients of the taunt, has not only won four World Cups (in various guises) but arguably post ’45 in economic terms did not ‘lose the war’ either, what such bellicose popularism does demonstrate is th

Wales Women's Football: A squad on the verge of history

Euro 2022 is over and history has been made. After an incredible competition, England have won their first international tournament, defeating an excellent Germany 2-1 at Wembley. The English media have celebrated the triumph and both back and front pages of the nation's newspapers have been used to promote the success. Most commentators and pundits are calling the victory a win not just for the Lionesses but for the women's game across the UK. The same competition also saw a first major tournament appearance for Northern Ireland just three years after Scotland competed in the World Cup. With this in mind, there is one of the home nations yet to reach a major finals - Wales.  In recent years, few could argue against describing the boom in Welsh football as its 'golden generation'. The men's side have reached back-to-back European Championships and have now achieved what many fans believed an impossibility, qualification for the World Cup. The tournament in Qatar is