Football hustlers: British players in America’s first pro soccer league

It was a Victorian football sensation. Five British players – four from Manchester City plus a former teammate now at Sheffield United – were missing, presumed poached by a mysterious foreign agent. “A sudden disappearance!” exclaimed one newspaper. “A Sheffielder taken!” was the headline in another. This 1894 mystery was solved after the players were […]

Islington Corinthians: football’s first world tour

Islington Corinthians may not be a famous name, but these footballing Phileas Foggs left their mark on history with an extraordinary 1930s round-the-world jaunt involving leopards, cocaine, cobras, crocodiles, and a bullet-strewn carry-on up the Khyber. The Islington Corinthians were travelling through the Khyber Pass when their bus slammed to a halt and their guide […]

Arthur Pember: the mermaid hunter who invented association football

The true story of the investigative journalist and mermaid hunter who helped create the rules of soccer. Arthur Pember titillated Victorian New York with his muckraking journalism, but before that he was the first president of the Football Association who set out the Laws of the Game. Read at Howler.