Early Football and the Emergence of Modern Soccer: A Reply to Tony Collins

Swain, Peter (2016) Early Football and the Emergence of Modern Soccer: A Reply to Tony Collins. International Journal of the History of Sport, 33 (3). pp. 251-271. ISSN 0952-3367

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This paper seeks to defend one part of what has become known as the ‘revisionist’ account of the historiography of football in nineteenth-century England. In so doing, it responds to the critique by Tony Collins in his article ‘Early Football and the Emergence of Modern Soccer’ between 1840 and 1880, calling into question the reliance in his arguments of what he describes as ‘legal organized games’ as the only measure of a football culture outside of the public schools. His classification of small-sided games of football as an ‘informal leisure practice or folk custom’ is also interrogated and found wanting. Alternatively, further evidence is presented from 1860 of football games played in a variety of forms, usually alongside other sports, and mainly on church, works’ or schools’ outings, at rural fetes, galas and celebrations, or as street or casual football, the latter taking place in meadows, fields, and greens. Importantly, these were predominantly small-sided games and are, arguably, the ones closest to Association football, as it was codified in 1863, and constituted a broad, tenacious, and increasingly visible football culture that existed amongst the general population across mid-century uninfluenced by the public schools and public school boys.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Football, origins, orthodox, revisionist, emergence
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General)
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: School of Sport and Biological Sciences > Sports and Sport Rehabilitation
Depositing User: Tracey Gill
Date Deposited: 27 Jun 2016 08:05
Last Modified: 04 Apr 2019 12:22
Identification Number: 10.1080/09523367.2016.1173032
URI: http://ubir.bolton.ac.uk/id/eprint/898

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