From the publisher:
This ambitious and fascinating history considers why, in the space of sixty years between 1850 and 1910, football grew from a marginal and unorganised activity to become the dominant winter entertainment for millions of people around the world. The book explores how the world's football codes - soccer, rugby league, rugby union, American, Australian, Canadian and Gaelic - developed as part of the commercialised leisure industry in the nineteenth century. Football, however and wherever it was played, was a product of the second industrial revolution, the rise of the mass media, and the spirit of the age of the masses.
Important reading for students of sports studies, history, sociology, development and management, this book is also a valuable resource for scholars and academics involved in the study of football in all its forms, as well as an engrossing read for anyone interested in the early history of football.
Tony Collins is Emeritus Professor of History in the International Centre for Sports History and Culture at De Montfort University, UK. His previous books include Rugby's Great Split, Rugby League in Twentieth Century Britain, A Social History of English Rugby Union and The Oval World - each of which won the Lord Aberdare prize for sports history book of the year - as well as his global history Sport in Capitalist Society.