Coming Soon – Peter Barnes Biography

I’ve been working with Peter Barnes since 2019 on his biography. This will cover his life & career and will be illustrated throughout. Personal items, such as Peter’s own artwork from school lessons (and earliest attempts at writing his autograph!), will appear in the book.

Written to a similar standard as my biography of Joe Mercer (Football With A Smile, first published in 1993, reprinted in 1994 and updated in 2010), this includes quotes from Peter throughout, alongside the views of players and managers.

This will, hopefully, prove to be a must have book for fans of Manchester City & United, West Bromwich Albion, Leeds United, Real Betis and the other clubs Peter played for.

Details will be revealed here later this year, but it is anticipated the book will be available before the end of the current football season (assuming Covid does not add any further delays). There will be the opportunity to subscribe to the book before publication (and get your name included in the subscriber section at the back of the book).

Watch this space!

FA Cup success, football infrastructure and the establishment of Manchester’s footballing identity – FREE DOWNLOAD FOR LIMITED PERIOD

Great news! Following the recent purchase of the original design FA Cup by Sheikh Mansour and my appearance on Football Focus, my academic article on the significance of that success to Manchester has been made free to download for a limited period.

Please use this link to access the academic website and article:

The Manchester City video I contributed to can also be viewed here:

More on 1903-04 for subscribers here:

The Origins of School Football Associations: Manchester as a Case Study


This paper will focus on the origins and subsequent development of school football in Manchester and its surrounding conurbation between 1880 and 1919. Archival evidence, drawing mainly on the Manchester Schools Football Association (MSFA) collection, will be used to chronicle the expansion of organized competition and sporting opportunities. It will demonstrate that football’s growth in Manchester’s education system owed much to dedicated teachers who encouraged participation at their own schools and organized inter-school competitions. Association football became prominent right across Manchester as young teachers, most notably George Sharples, encouraged pupils to play, leading to a widening of participation and interest that helps to explain how Manchester transitioned from a rugby to a soccer city. Also discussed is the important role of the Manchester and Salford Playing Fields Society (MSPFS) which assisted the game’s growth in schools and amongst schoolchildren more generally by making suitable fields and pitches available. Without the Society’s efforts facilities may have been insufficient to satisfy growing demand at a critical point in soccer’s development.

If you would like to read the full article and other pieces like this then please subscribe below. It works out about £1.67 a month if you take out an annual subscription (£20 per year) or £3 a month if you’d like to sign up for a month at a time. Each subscriber gets full access to the 100+ articles posted so far and the hundreds scheduled to be posted in the coming weeks.

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