From the publisher:
Football's journey from the playing fields of Victorian public schools to the television screens of millions is a fascinating one. From modest origins, football rapidly took a grip on the affections and loyalties of the late nineteenth-century working classes and was transformed into a business involving thousands of paying spectators and the buying and selling of 'star' performers. After the golden age of the 1940s and '50s, attendances declined towards a nadir reached in the 1980s, only to re-emerge stronger than ever with the arrival of the Premier League as a global phenomenon in the 1990s.
This book takes the reader back to the world of clanking turnstiles and baggy shorts, recreating the changing experiences of watching and playing football throughout the twentieth century. Drawing on expert knowledge and rare archival material, it charts the rise, fall and rebirth of the Beautiful Game in Britain.
Matthew Taylor is Professor of History at the International Centre for Sports History and Culture at De Montfort University in Leicester, England. He is the author of numerous articles on the history of sport and recreation and three books on the social history of football: Moving With the Ball: The Migration of Professional Footballers (2001), The Leaguers: The Making of Professional Football in England, 1900-1939 (2005) and The Association Game: A History of British Football (2008). He is editor-in-chief of the academic journal Sport in History and is a member of the Academic Advisory Panel to the National Football Museum.