academic blog

Football and War Blog

Thursday 20 September 2018

The Games of Remembrance

The Games of Remembrance is a project for anyone interested in football to find out about and remember football's important role in World War 1, including an education and tribute programme, an exciting Britain versus Germany football match and a legacy for armed forces charities.


Thursday 31 May 2018

Our Fathers’ Wartime Careers

When we met for the first time, at a Christmas party in 2015, we were astonished to discover that our fathers, both international footballers, had known each other in Czechoslovakia in May 1946.


Friday 20 April 2018

Remembering Barry Town’s First Captain: Major James Wightman, DSO MC

Born in Cumbria in 1893, James Wightman was the son of James and Sarah Jane Wightman. His father was born in Ireland, and worked as a coal miner, before becoming the innkeeper at the Hope Inn, Whitehaven. His football career was overshadowed by the first world war.


Wednesday 28 March 2018

Corinthian Casuals Commemorate and Honour Their Fallen Players of the First World War

On a cold Sunday on January 17th, 2016, Corinthian-Casuals travelled to France to commemorate and honour those players the club lost 100 years ago, in the Battle of the Somme.


Wednesday 21 March 2018

Memorabilia Corner: A Medal from Women's Football in World War One

I was recently contacted by a reader of my website, Jackie Day, with images of a pin badge from 1917. The badge is circular in shape with a blue outer circle within which is written: “RIPLEY COTTAGE HOSPITAL LADIES FOOTBALL MCH”.


Thursday 08 March 2018

Professional Football in Barnsley between 1939 and 1963: Essential Work, the Front Line and National Service

Tommy Lumley left school at fourteen in December 1938. He expected to become a coalminer but his life took a few twists.


Thursday 22 February 2018

Fast and Furious – One Hundred Years on and Still a Hero

My grandfather, Arthur Clarence Morris, was born in the district of Chesterfield on 11 April 1898. Apart from a few old family photos and some notes on the family tree which were compiled by my father’s cousin, I don’t know much about my grandad’s family. When the First World War broke out on 28 July 1914, he was 16 and would probably have already been in work for four years given that the school leaving age back then was 12, before it was raised to 14 in 1918.


Thursday 15 February 2018

The First FA Cup Clubs

146 years ago, on the 11th November, 1871, eight of the 15 clubs that had entered the inaugural FA Challenge Cup, competed in the first four FA Cup matches ever to be played.


Tuesday 16 January 2018

Making the People’s Game: Football History and the Second World War

My current research on sport in wartime Britain demonstrates that important things happened in the politics of football during the conflict. But it also shows how wartime football changed the course of the game in the post-war decades and how football came to be seen as a symbol of the British nation.


Wednesday 20 December 2017

Spurs – A Family Affair

Colin Bennett's father, Les played for Tottenham Hotspur from 1946-1954. Football and sport were in the Bennett family’s blood.


Thursday 23 November 2017

Dulwich Hamlet during the Second World War

Dulwich Hamlet is one of the oldest and best known names on the non-league circuit. The club is no stranger to conflict and lost a staggering twenty-two members during the Great War and a further four during the Second World War of 1939-45.


Thursday 16 November 2017

A Game for Christmas

I knew of the two sporting micro-myths that were part of Britain’s collective memory of the Great War: a Christmas Day football match in 1914 between British and German troops and British Tommies advancing into battle kicking a football ahead of them. I decided to research the Christmas football match story...


Thursday 09 November 2017

Women's football in Chesterfield during World War One: The first-ever women's competition in England?

The appearance of women’s football during World War One is a subject that is gaining increasing attention from historians of the game. The origins of this phenomenon have yet to be fully researched, but it is known that some of the first significant games were played in Portsmouth from the autumn of 1916.


Friday 27 October 2017

United in the Wars

Since Oxford United’s formation in 1893 as Headington FC, there have been three significant conflicts that have had an effect on the club.


Friday 20 October 2017

Footballers and the Great War: A Cigarette Card Series: The Start of Something…

For me the football cigarette card has always been an item of fascination...There were a number of factors that led to me beginning the Footballers of the Great War series, but one of the main reasons was the desire to tell a whole range of stories related to football and the war. The medium of cigarette card design provides such a wonderful platform to tell these stories and the designer in me could not wait to begin the process.


Thursday 03 August 2017

Women, Sport and The First World War

Women's football is not 'new'. The First World War saw a massive growth in participation and popularity. Professor of Sport, Jean Williams, is developing an exciting new project to map the 150 women's football teams in existence at this time.


Wednesday 28 June 2017

Charlton Athletic at War

The impact of the Great War on Charlton Athletic Football Club