Sunderland, Hibs and Upton Park FC were among the unlikely teams crowned world champions long before the first World Cup. Read the full story in the June 2018 issue of FourFourTwo.
Fearless sportswriter George Plimpton wrote about his experiences as an “amateur professional” in numerous top-level sports, including baseball, ice hockey, and – most famously – American football. But he never wrote about his time playing proper football, or soccer, with the Tampa Bay Rowdies. Read in FourFourTwo (PDF).
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 […]
In 1971, Manchester United played a “home” game at Anfield, and the controversies surrounding the match would echo for decades. An Action Replay retro feature on an unusually historic clash. Anfield is only 30 miles from Old Trafford, but for Manchester United fans it may as well be the dark side of the moon. Yet, […]
Jack Wilshire’s move to Bournemouth and the scrapping of the emergency loan window have put temporary deals back in the spotlight. But how did football’s loan transfer system get started and who were some of the first and strangest loanees? Part of a bigger feature on loan spells, my piece on the history of loans […]
When your club is linked with a player you’ve never heard of, Wikipedia’s 350,000+ football pages are likely to contain all the information you need. But who updates those goal tallies? And more importantly, why? For FourFourTwo magazine, I met the men who keep football Wikipedia bang up to date. Read the full story in […]
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 […]
As part of FourFourTwo’s 50 Best Football Chants special, why do Liverpool fans sing You’ll Never Walk Alone, why do West Ham fans sing I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles, and why on Earth do Stoke City fans sing Delilah (a creepy murder ballad about an insane voyeur who knifes his cheating lover to death)? You can […]
Two pieces in this issue, on football’s original hard man and a football manager’s less-famous brother. Nick Ross was the “demon back” who captained Preston North End and Everton in the late-1890s. And Harry Chapman was the brother of legendary Arsenal manager Herbert. Coincidentally, both Nick Ross and Harry Chapman met a similarly tragic fate. […]
Footballers hasn’t always been a game of two halves. The original Laws of the Game included no reference to half-time, and instead required teams to change ends after each goal was scored. My short piece on the history of half-time is included in the latest FourFourTwo. Read in the May 2015 issue of FourFourTwo.