FA Cup success, football infrastructure and the establishment of Manchester’s footballing identity

ABSTRACT: Contemporary Manchester is recognized internationally as a footballing city, with both Manchester United and Manchester City acknowledged as prominent clubs. However, the city has not always been a force in the game, nor has the game always been important across Manchester’s social spectrum. This paper examines how Manchester first became established as a footballing city, identify- ing that success in the FA Cup in 1904 stimulated interest in the game and con- siders how the legacy of that victory enabled the game to develop in terms of participation and spectating. It also considers the social mix of attendees at pro- fessional games in the city, and closes by concluding that footballing success generated increased interest and was the catalyst for improvement in the infra- structure for both participation and attendance, enabling Manchester’s footballing identity to become established.

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The Emergence of an Association Football Culture in Manchester 1840–1884

Over the coming weeks I’ll be posting my academic articles here for subscribers to my blog. In the meantime, here’s a link to one, first published in 2014, that is currently free to access on the publisher’s website:

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/17460263.2013.873075?src=recsys

Historical Frameworks and Sporting Research

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Sport History Relevance and How We Need to Engage

ABSTRACT

It is important to question the relevance of sport history and to recognize our failings and our successes if we are to ensure the genre develops and contributes to society. While sport historians recognize the value, outside of this sphere, it is apparent that the subject is not always recognized for its significance. In this paper, it is argued that sport historians have a responsibility to engage more with the media and the public, while seeking opportunities to collaborate with sports organizations to ensure the subject is relevant and can develop. It is also argued that minority groups are under-represented in the sport history community, arguing that it is incumbent upon sport historians to ensure greater engagement and promotion of these groups. The paper concludes by urging those engaged in sport history to promote the discipline and develop opportunities for others.

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Manchester A Football History – Coming soon

Starting on Saturday 9th January I’ll be posting a chapter each day from the 2010 edition of Manchester A Football History here. These will be available to subscribers to this site with one section posted each day for 35 days.

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Frank Swift

Swift, Frank Victor (1913-1958), footballer and journalist was born in Blackpool, Lancashire on 26 December 1913, the second son of five children.  From his earliest memories, he was always obsessed with the game of football, playing at every opportunity with his brothers, one of whom, Fred, became first team goalkeeper for a variety of clubs, most notably Blackpool, Oldham Athletic and Bolton Wanderers.

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