A Potted History of Association Football in England

There are full-blown books at one end of the reading spectrum and small articles or blogs, usually on the Internet, at the other end. This potted history sits somewhere in the middle. The sole objective is to give the reader a taste for the subject. Hopefully, there are sufficient links within the text and information in the bibliography section to allow the reader to delve further if he or she is interested.

As there is already quite a lot of literature on the history of football, both in books and on the Internet, why have I bothered to add to the list? The only weak excuse that I can offer is that the desire to pen something on this subject betrays signs of my misspent youth!

Comments and feedback are welcome via the contact me page.

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The history is divided up into multiple pages, starting with an Abstract which summarises the overall content.

From early ball games through to the end of World War I outlines the first known ball games around the world, continues with medieval football in England, and leads on to the variations of the game which were played in public schools from the mid-eighteenth century. It deals with the eventual formation of the Football Association (the FA) in 1863, the subsequent popularity of soccer from the 1880s onwards, including the establishment of the professional game and the widespread growth of the amateur, schoolboy, grassroots and women’s game.

The next section takes the story of The established game from 1919 up to the present day.

Miscellaneous topics and an addendum on Rugby Football in the 19th century includes information on early balls, the introduction of goal nets, match programmes, fanzines etc and small-sided forms of the game (five-a-side and futsal). Soccer and Rugby were quite closely intertwined up until the 1880s. It is for that reason that I have penned an addendum on Rugby Football in the 19th century.

Finally, there are sections on Bibliography and further readingAcknowledgements and a Version history