Alf Doig’s gold rush: the Scottish football pioneer who went to Alaska

The story of Alf Doig, a footballing pioneer from Arbroath who went to Alaska looking for gold, written for Scottish football periodical Nutmeg. Alf set off for Alaska at the beginning of April 1914. Players and officials, plus a party of “fans and fanettes”, gathered at the home of manager Jim Ross to see him […]

Fanspotting: the history of football fandom via fan tribes

This feature for FourFourTwo charts the history of football fandom via fan tribes, from ancient spectators to internet megafans, via gentlemen pioneers, scarf-swinging rattlers, horrible hooligans, fanzine enthusiasts, football hipsters and more. The feature is linked to my book, Savage Enthusiasm: A History of Football Fans. From ancient Roman fanboys to stat-wielding internet snobs, FFT […]

Penalty clauses: the introduction of football’s penalty kick law

Penalty kicks generated fierce opposition when they were first introduced to football in the early 1890s, with amateur players of the day outraged at the implication that any good sportsman would commit a deliberate or “professional” foul. They protested by refusing to score or save them. This article for When Saturday Comes looks at the […]

Still with us: Gateshead FC

A complicated history and plenty of local rivals have not ended the Heed’s hopes of returning to the Football League. This latest When Saturday Comes “Still with us” feature on former League clubs looks at Gateshead FC, the third incarnation of a club that originated in South Shields. Read the full story in issue 361 […]