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Football's Great War (Hardback)

Association Football on the English Home Front, 1914–1918

WWII Home Front in WWI Military

By Dr Alexander Jackson
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 384
Illustrations: 32 black and white illustrations
ISBN: 9781399002202
Published: 30th March 2022

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RRP £25.00

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As modern football grapples with the implications of a global crisis, this book looks at the first in the game’s history: The First World War. The game’s structure and fabric faced existential challenges as fundamental questions were asked about its place and value in English society. This study explores how conflict reshaped the People’s Game on the English Home Front.

The wartime seasons saw football's entire commercial model challenged and questioned. In 1915, the FA banned the payment of players, reopening a decades-old dispute between the game's early amateur values and its modern links to the world of capital and lucrative entertainment.

Wartime football forced supporters to consider whether the game should continue, and if so, in what form? Using an array of previously unused sources and images, this book explores how players, administrators and fans grappled with these questions as daily life was continually reshaped by the demands of total war. From grassroots to elite football, players to spectators, gambling to charity work, this study examines the social, economic and cultural impact of what became Football's Great War.

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About Dr Alexander Jackson

Dr Alexander Jackson is a Curator at the National Football Museum in Manchester and has researched and published widely on the history of English football. He was lead curator for the 2014 exhibition, The Greater Game: Football and the First World War. Born in Sheffield, he has inherited the family allegiance to Newcastle United.

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