The Association Game

Matthew Taylor
The Association Game
A history of British football
London, Longman, 2007

The story of football’s journey from public school diversion to mass media entertainment is a remarkable one. The Association Game traces the history of football from the creation of the first clubs and associations in the nineteenth century to its current position at the centre of British popular culture. Has the so-called ‘people’s game’ been transformed into a vehicle of global commercial interests? Have its star performers lost touch with their roots? Has football reinforced or challenged national identities in Britain? This book seeks answers to these and other questions by combining the most recent academic and popular writing on football. It covers a range of topics, including the role of supporters and the nature of ‘fandom’; the business of football; relations with the media; and the development of playing styles, tactics and rules. The Association Game is the first book to discuss football’s development in England, Scotland, Walesand Northern Ireland and its relationship with Europe and the wider world. It is also the first to consider grassroots and amateur football alongside the professional game. It is a highly original and thorough examination of the history of the world’s most popular game in the nations of its birth.