In support of my book Savage Enthusiasm: A History of Football Fans, this article for US-based Medium looks at the history of soccer fans, and the irresistible rise of the world’s most popular sport, from the British origins of fandom, through to US adoption and growth. More details about the book can be found here.
“Being a soccer fan is both a privilege and a burden. When you’re winning, it’s the best thing on Earth, and when you’re not, it’s the end of the world. And the thing about being a fan is, whichever way fortune swings, you’re stuck with the game and your team for life. We fans have come to accept the great hold “the beautiful game” has on us. But how did this happen? How did we become so entirely wrapped up in association football? How did we become soccer fans?”