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Footballers At War: The Footballers' Battalion

"Vivian Woodward, the well-known amateur international footballer has accepted a commission in the Footballers' Battalion."[1] When 'football' is searched in the British Newspaper Archive the result is the short article above about Chelsea forward Vivian Woodward's acceptance to join the 'Footballers' Battalion.' Despite its prominence on such an important web page, the 17th Service Battalion of the Middlesex Regiment is one which has rarely received the attention it no doubt deserves. They entire Battalion are soon to be inducted into the British Football Hall of Fame 100 years after the outbreak of the First World War. So what was the regiment, who was involved and why should they be remembered? [To read more - go to /] By Ben Jones - TFHB (Follow me on Twitter @Benny_J or @TFHBs) If you like our posts please VOTE FOR US in the Football Blogging Awards by tweeting - "I

A Threat to Morality? Football Before 1863

Here at The Football History Boys we have often explored various eras which the beautiful game has affected. Whether it be pre-1900 with football's first professionals Preston North End or discovering the role footballers played during the World Wars, we have tried to leave no stone unturned. However, there is one part of the sport which we have failed to address and that is it in its earliest form - pre-codification. Yes, we wrote about Tudor Football very early on in our existence but in no real depth, it is here that I will attempt to unearth just what the game was really like, who played it and what people really thought about it.  When discussing pre-codified football it is first important to find a period of time easily accessible and open to interpretation. In this piece I am going to look at the sport from the Georgian era (1715-1837) and beyond to the origins of the Football Association. Football in its earliest form was one of mob rules - working class, unorganised an

Premier League Preview: Sunderland - West Ham

Part III: Sunderland, Swansea, Spurs, WBA and West Ham SUNDERLAND AFC Club Nickname: The Black Cats Founded: 1879, as ‘Sunderland and District Teachers’ Ground: Stadium of Light Manager: Gustavo Poyet Captain: John O’Shea Last Season: 14 th It was a topsy-turvy season for Sunderland last year, to say the least. They started the season with unorthodox Italian, Paolo DiCanio, at the helm, having opted to stick with the former Swindon boss after he successfully kept them in the Premier League the previous season, a 0-3 win over rivals, Newcastle, the highlight. However, come October, DiCanio was gone and former Brighton manager and Chelsea hero, Gustavo Poyet took charge. Summer signings weren’t proving particularly successful, Altidore and Giaccherini struggling to make an impact and, while performances improved under Poyet, Sunderland were still bottom at Christmas.  Could Fabio Borini be signing this summer? Post-New Year, however, as with the per

Premier League Preview: Manchester United - Stoke City

PART 3: Manchester United, Newcastle United, QPR, Southampton, Stoke, Manchester United   Club Nickname:   The Red Devils Founded:  1878 Ground:  Old Trafford Manager:  Louis van Gaal   Captain:  Wayne Rooney   Last Season:   7th Can anyone really tell you conclusively how you go from 1st to 7th? To put this into context, the last time United missed out on European football was 1990, a year before I was born and that was only due to the ban that expelled English clubs from Europe for half a decade due to the dreadful Heysel disaster. In any case there isn't just one answer to that question; there are several and that means even King Louis has his work cut out for him. Despite all the talk of challenging for the title that will be a step too far for United and van Gaal would do well to secure a top four finish. 1st to 7th is one thing but the reverse is almost unfathomable, and don't let any Liverpool fan tell you otherwise.  King Louis will be hopin