Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1102/31386

From The Socialist newspaper, 23 September 2020

TV: The English Game - how the working class made football the people's game

The English Game

The English Game   (Click to enlarge)

John Reid, West London Socialist Party

The English Game tells the story of how football was transformed in the 19th century. It was revolutionised from the Southern-dominated amateur, public school sport, dominated by individualistic, dribbling tactics, into a superior passing game, which reflected the cooperation and discipline needed, and developed by workers in the factory who transferred this onto the playing fields.

It was this passing game, developed by the Scots and adopted by English Northern and Midland factory teams, which gained mass popularity, first in Britain, and then globally.

Fergus Suter is the star of the show. He was brought down from Partick in Glasgow for a fee, and became the world's first professional footballer. He moved to a factory team - Darwen - and then later to Blackburn Rovers.

The series is factually wrong though. It has Suter lifting the FA Cup in 1883, when in fact he was on the losing side for Rovers in 1882. In fact, Blackburn Olympic were the first Northern workingmen's team to lift the FA Cup in 1883.

They beat Lord Kinnaird's Old Etonians. Olympic's team was made up of three weavers, a spinner, a plumber, a cotton operative and an iron foundry worker. Suter's Rovers won the cup in 1884, 85 and 86. Between 1883 and 1915, the cup only went South, once in 1901, when Tottenham Hotspur won the trophy.

To reflect the growing professionalism, the Football League was formed in 1888 by Scotsman William McGregor, and the world's first professional league was won by the original 'invincibles', Preston North End, as they were unbeaten league and cup winners.

The series reflects the class struggle, and how factory owners cut wages and workers fought back with strikes. It shows the appalling conditions faced by the working class, particularly by women. It highlights how factory owners took control of the game to divert workers' minds away from struggle, and how admission charges were introduced for the first time. Now, football is a global multi-million pound game, largely removed from its roots in the working class.

It is a little bit twee, as you would expect from the creators of Downton Abbey, but it is very enjoyable.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 23 September 2020:


Coronavirus news

Tory Covid chaos

North East lockdown: simmering anger at Tory incompetence

Testing shambles: unions must fight back

Johnson's schools social-distancing lie


Schools

Dispatches from the front - chaotic schools are not safe!


Workplace news

A day in the life of a salon worker

Workplace news in brief


News

'FinCEN Files' expose rampant financial corruption: nationalise the banks!

Extend eviction ban! Cap rents! Build council homes!

News in brief


Universities

Covid and the campuses


Why I joined

Why we joined the Socialist Party


Campaigns

Fund NHS and pay rise now

Coventry: Socialist Students is back

Liverpool Council must save care homes

Sussex: Hands off Peacehaven schools

Fighting fund: One week to raise 3,444

The Socialist: More than a newspaper


International news

Thailand: Youth rising against hated junta


Readers' opinion

TV: The English Game - how the working class made football the people's game

The Socialist Inbox


 

Home   |   The Socialist 23 September 2020   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Football:

triangleBeware the billionaires bearing gifts

triangleHackney & Islington Socialist Party: Football & high wages in the current crisis

triangleEast London Socialist Party: Are the police and state neutral under capitalism?

triangleFootball in the time of coronavirus - reclaim our game!

Working class:

triangleGreek workers and socialists celebrate convictions of Golden Dawn fascists

triangleSouth Africa: Working class unity to stop violence against women

triangleDover: Solidarity with refugees - applause and cheers for socialist ideas to unite working class

triangleWest London Socialist Party: The role of the working class in the struggle for socialism

TV:

triangleTV: Council House Britain

triangleTV: Once Upon a Time in Iraq

triangleTV: Ross Kemp - Living with Forced Out Families

Workers:

triangleStop NHS meltdown

triangleAre cooperatives the answer to a failing capitalist system?

Blackburn:

triangleSocialist artists invite others to exhibit work

Reviews and comments

Reviews and comments

14/10/20

Obituary

Obituary: Raph Parkinson 1958-2020

14/10/20

Letters

The Socialist Inbox

14/10/20

Labour Party

Non-fiction: This Land - the story of a movement

14/10/20

Education

Students speak out: isolation and uncertainty reign

7/10/20

Letters

The Socialist Inbox

7/10/20

Racism

Non-fiction: 'Why I no longer talk to white people about race'

7/10/20

Film

Film: 'Sick' - 'They've got people looking in the wrong direction'

2/10/20

Southwark

TV: Council House Britain

30/9/20

Letters

The Socialist Inbox

30/9/20

Socialist Party

Why I joined the Socialist Party: Labour moved right and left me behind

23/9/20

Pay

A day in the life of a salon worker

23/9/20

Socialist Party

Why we joined the Socialist Party

23/9/20

Football

TV: The English Game - how the working class made football the people's game

23/9/20

Letters

The Socialist Inbox

16/9/20

Labour Party

Non-fiction: Left Out - the inside story of Labour under Corbyn

triangleMore Reviews and comments articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 075 4018 9052

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


October 2020

September 2020

August 2020

July 2020

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999