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Football History

El Barca Begins With Arthur Witty

Barcelona's official founder is a Swiss man named Joan Gamper but before he came along there was Englishman Arthur Witty, who was the club's first captain and invented the famous maroon-and-blue kit. Ben Lyttleton looks at his influence.

The Slow Spread Of Football In Germany

Football only emerged as a major sport in Germany in the aftermath of World War I because a traditional form of gymnastics was the favoured pursuit at the turn of the 20th century. Ben Lyttleton explains why that changed after the war.

Ajax 5 Liverpool 1, 1966

Ajax's surprise 5-1 win over Liverpool in 1966 not only paved the way for the greatest era in Dutch football history but it also marked a progressive social revolution in Holland's history embodied by a young Johan Cruyff. Ben Lyttleton reports.

Willy Garbutt, The Italian trailblazer

When Genoa appointed inexperienced Englishman Willy Garbutt as coach in 1912, they could not have predicted the success he would bring to the club. Dan Brennan explains how Garbutt influenced Italian coaching for 40 years and why he is still a hero in Genoa.

Bringing the Game to Brazil

After ten years spent studying in England, Charles Miller returned to the country of his birth Brazil and was amazed that no-one knew how to play football. He educated the nation and his legacy still lives on, explains Ben Lyttleton.

The Origins Of Dinamo Moscow

An English textile boss who was a Blackburn Rovers fan introduced football to workers in Moscow in 1887 and then his cunning brother gained official permission from the local governor for the game to be played.

Football In Australia

Australians developed their own version of football four years before the English FA had established a set of rules in 1863. The game started spreading beyond Melbourne in the 1880s but really took off after World War II. David Goldblatt reports.

The Name Game In South America

Arsenal, Everton and Liverpool are not just teams in England's Premiership - clubs of the same name also play in South America. Luke Gosset explains why British sides provided the inspiration for many sides in another continent.

Spreading Football Via The British Army

After forming successful teams in the 1870s, the British Army took football on their postings throughout the world and introduced the game to the Far East and Africa. David Goldblatt analyses how the army and football became tools of resistance rather than colonial control.

Transatlantic Connections: Britain, America & Football

Football was slow to become popular in the USA despite the efforts of British influence from as far back as the 17th century. But over time, and with the help of expatriates from Britain, the game took on baseball and basketball and found its own place in the nation's affections.


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