Goal-Post: Victorian Football

Goal-Post: Victorian Football Vol 1
Edited by Paul Brown
Paperback, ISBN 9780956227034
Out of print

‘Beautifully written material’ – When Saturday Comes

Goal-Post is a new anthology collecting the very best Victorian football writing, covering the birth and development of the world’s greatest game, and written by those who were there to witness it. This is a collection of contemporary articles and extracts featuring some of the players, officials, clubs and matches that helped shape and define football. In making these valuable, informative and entertaining pieces of writing accessible and available to the modern reader, Goal-Post aims to provide a flavour of what it must have been like to have enjoyed football in the latter part of the nineteenth century.

Included in this volume are: CW Alcock on football tactics; Interviews with England captains Tinsley Lindley and GO Smith; Montague Shearman’s history of football; Frank Brettell and the making of Tottenham Hotspur; The first international football match, Scotland vs England; David Drummond Bone on football in Scotland; The Newton Heath libel scandal; Calcio, or football in Italy by Helen Zimmern; Football by electric light; The 1888 FA Cup Final, West Bromwich Albion vs Preston North End; Henry Leach on life as a travelling football reporter; And much more.

Press and media:

Goal-Post: Victorian Football book review
“A wonderful journey of discovery, allowing the reader an insight into the birth and growth of football through those who were there in its formative years. If you are looking for a thought provoking read and a different perspective on the Beautiful Game, then this anthology is for you.” More

A history of match reports from the gas-lit era
Sports Journalists’ Association
“An anthology of some of the very best football writing from that gas-lit era of Sherlock Holmes and Jack the Ripper. This collection of contemporary articles and extracts covers the birth and development of the game, many written by its first paid observers. It is a brilliant idea, thoughtfully executed.” More

Past master
When Saturday Comes
“There has been a recent growth of interest in Victorian football, possibly because, as the editor here speculates, we ‘have grown weary of certain aspects of modern football [and] will no doubt have much to admire in the Victorian game’.” More

Goal-Post in The Blizzard
An extract from The Blizzard Issue Seven
“In the run-up to the release of Issue Seven, we will be offering you a sneak peek at a couple of excerpts of articles from the forthcoming issue. The second is from another Blizzard debutant, Henry Leach, on following a football league team around the turn of the century.” More

Goal-Post on BBC World Football
BBC World Football
“We travel back to the earliest days of football as played by association rules.” Alan Green interviews Goal-Post editor Paul Brown (free download, interview begins around 18 minutes in). More

Goal-Post on RTE Sport at 7
Sport at 7 with Damien O’Meara
“We take a journey through the early days of soccer with the editor of a new anthology of Victoria football writing Paul Brown.” Damien O’Meara interviews the Goal-Post editor (free download, interview begins around 17 minutes in). More

Was Off-Side Britain’s first newspaper football columnist?
The Guardian
Off-Side began writing “football notes” in February 1885. He was one of several columnists with with similar pen-names, such as Goal-Post, Full-Back and Spectator. According to Paul Brown – editor of the book Goal-Post: Victorian Football – these early writers played a key part in the development of football. More

A wealth of Victorian football history
Sunday Sun
“Footballers trying to con the refs, a need for goalline technology, and superstar players returning fat and unfit from their summers of excess… The complaints are the same as from any modern fan in any pub or on any terrace in the land. Except they’re not the gripes of present-day punters, but complaints from the Victorian era.” More

Celebrating Victoriana
Game of the People
“How marvellous it is that the roots of English football are finally being truly appreciated. A new book, Goal-Post, an anthology of Victorian football writing, has opened the door on a whole new genre of study in the game. What the book reveals is that the game has always attracted controversy, even in its gas-lit, hansom cab days. This tome contains tales of overpaid players, cheating, violence, legal battles and general bad behaviour. No change there, then.” More

Even Victorians needed goal-line technology
Derby Telegraph
“A collection of contemporary articles and extracts covers the birth and development of the game. I was particularly amused by an article entitled How Referees Are Tricked. ‘A Referee’ tells us: ‘Some quick passing and a cross-shot into goal frequently results in the ball going just inside the posts. The referee is unable to keep up with the ball and consequently is uncertain whether it went between the posts or not.’ Goal-line technology certainly has been a long time in coming.” More

The Blue & White Book Reviews
The Blue & White
“Gives a feel not only of the events that shaped the development of the game, but also what those who lived through those events thought. It’s a fascinating insight into the attitude of supporters of the sport at its earliest point.” More

Review: Goal-Post: Victorian Football
Mist Rolling In
“Goal-Post has only just been released and brings to the table original Victorian writing on the game. Despite being focused on the Victorian era of the game it is interesting to note some of the topics which still resonate today. The book as a whole provides an excellent introduction to the early years of Association Football and possesses a variety of stories which keeps it fresh for the reader across the total of 21 articles and features.” More

Light fantastic: A look back at the first floodlit football match
Late Tackle
“In 1878, the year that Joseph Swan patented the incandescent light bulb, the first floodlit game of football took place – but it wasn’t a particular success. Up until then, the traditional 3pm kick off had been settled upon as a convenient time to ensure that the final whistle blew before the sun went down. However, frustrations over the failure to decide the 1876 FA Cup Final (when bad light curtailed extra time) brought calls for illuminated matches.” A detailed account of the first floodlit match appears in Goal-Post.

Goal-Post: Victorian Football is no longer in print.

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Goal-Post: Victorian Football Vol 2
Edited by Paul Brown
Paperback, ISBN 9780956227065
Out of print

‘Beautifully written material’ – When Saturday Comes

Goal-Post Vol 2 is a second anthology of Victorian football writing, containing first-hand accounts of the birth and development of the world’s greatest game, written by those who were there to witness it. Presented over two volumes, Goal-Post highlights some of the players, officials, clubs and matches that helped shape and define the game.

Press and media:

Victorian writing collection that is really on the ball
Sports Journalists’ Association
“Published in the year of the 150th anniversary of the Football Association and the 125th anniversary of the Football League, Goal-Post volume 2 arrives at a time when there is a sharper than usual focus on the Victorian game.” More

Goal-Post: Victorian Football Vol 2 book review
“As with Volume 1, this collection of Victorian writing provides the reader with a unique range of food for thought… It’s football, gentlemen, but not as we know it.” More

Goal-Post: Victorian Football is no longer in print.

Published by Paul Brown

Writes about football, history, true adventure. The Guardian, Four Four Two, When Saturday Comes, The Blizzard, Longreads, Deadspin, etc. Latest book: The Ruhleben Football Association. Twitter: @paulbrownUK