Football floodlights: a history

There’s something undeniably romantic about football floodlights, standing as beacons on rickety pylons, drawing fans toward grounds on drizzly evenings. I wrote a feature for FourFourTwo on the history and appeal of floodlights. It covers early attempts to illuminate football, the roll-out and reliance on electric light, plus failures, climbing, collapses, and sabotage.

“The UK was first illuminated by electric light in the 1870s, just as football was beginning to emerge as a popular sport. However, lights wouldn’t be switched on at football matches until the 1950s. Before floodlights, football only had a small window of daylight in which to operate. Most people worked on Saturday mornings, and Sundays were sacrosanct. That only left Saturday afternoons.”

Read the full story in the October 2013 issue of FourFourTwo.

FourFourTwo October 2013

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