The first football columnist: how early journalists helped shape the game

I wrote a long-form article for The Blizzard football quarterly telling the story of how an early football journalist for The Northern Echo helped shape the modern game.

“The world of Victorian football writers is a fascinating one, as you’ll be aware if you’ve ever had cause to search through 19th-century newspaper archives for news of matches from the game’s formative years. These often anonymous individuals were occasionally afforded pen names, such as Goal-Post, Full-Back or Spectator. Through their columns, they added colour to the sports coverage in Britain’s many regional newspapers and cast a proto-pundit’s eye over the emerging game. These writers also played an important — and arguably vital — part in the development of football.”

Read the full article in Issue Seven of The Blizzard.

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