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Showing posts with the label Football Through The Ages

The 50 Most Important Moments in Football History: Part Two

Football is more than just a game. Over the last 150 years it has become a source of identity, conflict and debate for all who follow and play it. It has reached the furthest corners of the globe and boasts more players and supporters than any other sport. In this list we will be going right the way through the illustrious, colourful and often tragic history of football and finding out once and for all what the most important moments are in this truly beautiful game. 6. Preston North End - The first 'Invincibles' (1888/89) The Football League, the wonderful Football League, is 130 years old this season. However, when founded in 1888, it was a bright new idea that was enabled by the acceptance of professionalism in the sport. Suddenly the game that had stolen the hearts of the working class was now a viable job choice and so a formal league was born. A 12 team league was set up with sides from the Midlands and the North of England. The league would run from Septemb

Footballers at War: Royal Air Force

Liverpool legend Billy Lidell After writing our blog, "Footballers at War: 1939-45" it seemed clear to us that the general topic was far too broad and too important to be confined to one Football History Boys piece. A recent article online from the RAF Museum Cosford, told of a visit from former Wolverhampton Wanderer Ron Flowers. Although Flowers was not present between 1939-45, he did undertake national service in the Air Force after his 18th Birthday, a feat unimaginable to today's youthful population. A number of Football League players did however join the RAF during the Second World War, each with stories, both heroic and tragic.  The Royal Air Force , during the Second World War would provide an essential form of defence for the freedom and values of British life, no more exemplified than the infamous Battle of Britain in 1940. However, as discussed in a previous blog, the role of footballers in securing an Allied victory is often forgotten due to modern day

Bela Guttmann - A Story That Needs To Be Told

Bela Guttmann  22 different clubs, 13  different countries, 2 European Cups, a curse that still exists to this day and one of football’s greatest journeymen, it’s safe to call Bela Guttmann a trailblazer! Born in 19th century Austria-Hungary to a Jewish family, Guttmann is regarded by many as the original Brian Clough or Jose Mourinho . A controversial figure from the outset he never stayed at a club from more than 3 season because by his own admission “the third season is fatal” (similar to Pep Guardiola’s sentiments after 4 years at Barcelona). When playing he once hung dead rats on Hungarian officials hotel room door’s as a protest, so we can already see there’s more to this man than just statistics and self confidence...  Bela Guttmann’s management career began before the Second World War broke out in 1939 but throughout most of Europe football was put on hold till 1945. Guttmann’s Jewish background meant he had to escape Nazi persecution and while not much is known about

El Clasico - The Origins of Football's Greatest Rivalry

Common scene in the modern-day Clasico. Handbags. Since 1902, Barcelona and Real Madrid have locked horns in a footballing battle played with far more at stake than just team glory. On Saturday it will be no different as Barcelona and Madrid players will contest the 223rd meeting between the clubs from Castile and Catalonia. Recently the derby has prompted heated debate over who holds the greatest players, who is the most successful and has been frequently disrupted by melees, fracas and handbags from both sets of players. But why the intense rivalry from two clubs 300 miles apart? And how did it earn the name "El Clasico?"  The Barcelona , Madrid rivalry is not purely a modern day phenomenon, the divisions between their respective areas within Spain, Castile and Catalonia, have been culturally at odds for over 500 years. The Spanish Inquisition  established in 1481 joined the Kingdoms of Castile and Aragon together for the first time in a collective force to bring ab

FA at 150: The Birth of the Modern Game

“Success to football, irrespective of class or creed”, the toast given after the first exhibition game played using FA rules on 9 January 1864.  This was the birth of the modern game of football as we know it. Before this point there had been no universal rules for the game, they were just formalised depending on local conditions. Different areas of the country would play the game by different rules. Evidently, this caused mayhem from time to time but most notably when the generation that had grown up playing football regularly went off to university. Although this was 150 years ago, Britain had developed significantly since the Tudor period and things were a little more civilized, Britain had become the greatest industrial power of Europe (although we still had Queen Victoria as our monarch). The intellects at Cambridge University devised a set of rules in 1848 which were known as the Cambridge Rules. These rules allowed for forward passes, goal kicks and throw ins and became wi

Footballers at War: 1939-1945

Bolton Players at War (Bleacher Report) One of my last blogs was on football during the Tudor era (1485-1601), for many the game back then could be described as a "war zone" with people sometimes dying on the pitch. However, in September 1939 Adolf Hitler's Nazi Germany invaded the peaceful, neighbouring country of Poland and the Second World War began. A war that would change the face of Europe and indeed that of Great Britain.  Today footballers are accused of being divers, cheats and constantly attacked by the media for their off-the-pitch antics. From 1939-1945, this was simply not the case...  The Second World War was the biggest, bloodiest war to unfortunately take place. A total of 40-60 million soldiers and civilians perished during the conflict. The idea adopted the use of "Total War" meaning everyone in the country would have to play their own respective roles in achieving success. Whether you were a member of the Home Guard (like in Dad's A

Tudor Football - Not quite the beautiful game

Modern day football...11 men versus 11 men, 90 minutes, flair, referees and Robbie Savage. However, step into Marty Mcfly's Delorean, notch the speed up to 88 and set the date for the early 1500s to find the beautiful game a million miles from the 21st century sport we watch today. The hit series and frankly hilarious children's show " Horrible Histories " recently exemplified what a football match in Tudor times (1485-1603) would be like. Of course the writers had portrayed the sport in their usual eccentric way with the players coming up against bantering striker Jermain Defoe , who apparently plays for two teams "Tott and Ham". I only have to look back around 10 years to remember my year 5 teacher mentioning football in Tudor times and being struck dumb in awe that the game was played centuries before the formation of the Football Association 150 years ago in 1863. The use of a pig's bladder for the ball being a particular source of interest.