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The Crest Dissected - Leicester City

It's been too long since my last post, the busyness of Ben and myself meaning TFHB has perhaps been a little neglected recently. However, our eyes have certainly not been taken away from football and the remarkable season that 2015/16 is turning out to be in the Premier League. Chelsea's miserable defence of the title leading to the sacking of Jose Mourinho but perhaps the most shocking thing has been Leicester City's dominance of the season. The Foxes topped the league on Christmas Day so we thought we should take a look at the club's history. Leicester were established in 1884 as Leicester Fosse, the club website showing a house on Fosse Road were in a shed in the garden, the club was born. [1] The original people of the Leicester Fosse team were a group of Bible study members who attended the a church called Emmanuel Chapel in New Park Street. The club's first ever match was a 5-0 victory over local side Syston Fosse on 1st November 1884. [2] The club then bega

The Christmas Truce: What Really Happened?

Finally! A new TFHB piece is here - it has been a busy few months for the pair of us outside of the blog - Ben has started his PGCE and Gareth has been working as a teaching assistant - no rest for the wicked!  When I think of Christmas, a number of things pop into my head - food, presents and boxing day football. In Britain, teams across the nation take part in what has become an annual tradition, one which mixes Santa, mince pies and snow with the beautiful game. However, Christmas and football has a much deeper history, one which includes the First World War. The Christmas Truce of 1914 has become one of the greatest symbols of human compassion 100 years after taking place in no-man's-land between sets of British and German soldiers. Alongside this display of togetherness and brotherhood has come whispers of what actually happened a century ago - some real and some rather far-fetched. So who won, who exactly took part and why should we never forget the Christmas Truce?  Th

The Crest Dissected - Manchester City

Manchester City - They're a club that people have come to either love or hate. That 'Agueroooo' moment is etched in everyone's recent memory as they stole the Premier League title from Manchester United in 2012. However, because of the massive financial investment involved, people have come to see them as an updated Chelsea under Roman Abramovich. 'The Crest Dissected' is a series we run at TFHB to follow a club's history through from it's beginnings, today I'm taking a look at Manchester City and seeing if that claim that they "have no history" is true or not.  Manchester City in their current form were officially founded in 1880 as a church football team. Reverend Connell of St Mark's church in West Gorton saw an opportunity to combat gang violence and alcoholism in young people. Along with William Beastow and Thomas Goodbehere, St Mark's were formed. [1] It is around this time we find the club appearing in newspapers, an exampl

Sheffield FC and the Birth of Modern Football

There has been a running theme in a lot of my recent posts to TFHB and our new sister site The Sporting History Boys - and that has been the Victorians. The formation of modern sport throughout the era has really captured both of our imaginations as we have learned just how football came into being. For a sport is arguably the only truly 'global' game, it is of immense intrigue to us as to just where it began and why it became so popular. In the past we have discussed the relationship of class and identity within football spheres and the role spectators played in shaping the game we watch today. This piece however is to look at the sport's first team - Sheffield FC and how they influenced the modern establishment of association football. For those who have read our numerous pieces on the 'sporting revolution' you will quick to point out that we usually set a start date for the period at 1863, but Sheffield FC pre-dates even this. So should we adjust our dates or i

The Glorious Summer of 1934 - A Review of "Half-Time"

I t has been said plenty of times that sport is about far more than just what happens on the pitch/court/course/track. We adopted that at The Football History Boys with our slogans, "Like football, love it's history!" and "more than just scorelines". Over the past two hundred years, sport has been closely entwined with British culture. It can be said the industrial revolution led to the growth in weekend football and the ability to earn a living through the game; as well as the teaching of cricket and "Englishness" being a way to bring up Children in Victorian schools; and the 1948 Olympics being a major success for national morale in the UK.  Ben and I often receive emails asking if we would like to review various football history books. A few weeks ago Bloomsbury told us about a book written by Robert Winder, it's called " Half-Time - The Glotious Summer of 1934 ". Of course we said yes, because... well, it sounded like a book a lot li

"An Age of Progress": Did Sport Inspire Women's Suffrage?

Over the past two and a half years, since we set up The Football History Boys, there are two areas of history which we have researched and written about extensively - the Victorian Era and Women's sporting history. This piece is going to combine the two as we explore the sporting revolution and the impact of women. Prior to c.1860 the social order of Britain was relatively firm - the 1832 reform act had promised much but delivered little. Women were well and truly second class citizens held back by a misogynistic, male dominated society. However, from 1863 the 'sporting revolution' saw the codifications of football, tennis, rugby and a great deal of other games. As popularity in each grew, the opportunities for women to play also evolved by the end of the nineteenth century - coinciding with the campaign for female suffrage. How much was the suffragette movement inspired by sport? The subject of gender in sport is always one of interest, but also one which is vital to und