This is an excellent and fresh perspective on a very topical subject!
As we all settle down to enjoy the trials, tribulations and heroic moments of the 2014 world Cup; few would connect the beautiful game with railways. Yet the early story of football is thoroughly intertwined with the story of Railways.
The creation of a national rail network made the national sports calendar possible. In 1879, Queens Park FC of Glasgow travelled to Manchester on Friday night, played on Saturday afternoon, returning the same evening. Of course, England had been playing internationals since 1872, however, the key for the mass game was founding of the football league in 1888. These were teams of working men, who drew mass support from the working classes.
To the railway companies the Football League offered predictable fan flows, to specific locations…
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