“The Jewel Thief” is the story of Harry Trainer, the Wrexham and Wales international footballer with a remarkable criminal record. Read in issue 33 of The Blizzard and on The Guardian website. Listen on The Blizzard podcast.
The contrasting fortunes of Johnny Goodall and Jimmy Trainer, close friends, and two of the earliest stars of the Victorian game. Read the full story in the Blizzard issue 27 and on the Blizzard website.
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 […]
John Cairney still has his match ticket, yellowed and minus its stub, in his drawer of mementos. He doesn’t remember much about the actual match. It was 78 years ago. He’s 85 now, an acclaimed actor, painter and writer with a lifetime of football memories. But he does remember the vast sea of people, the […]
How did we become football fans? Many of us can trace the lineage of our support through our fathers, our grandfathers and so on. But association football has only been around for 150 years. At some point, perhaps six or seven generations ago, our ancestors discovered and embraced the emerging game, developed affinities for individual […]
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 […]