on 17 July 2008
Undoubtedly the best book on the early days of football history. Harvey has brilliantly researched his material and provides convincing evidence that the traditional idea that football started with medieval mob or 'shrovetide' football, which was as good as outlawed by the authorities only to resurface out of public schools is a simplification of history that hides the whole truth. How much of the origins of football do we really owe to the toffs at the FA in London - and how many other factors have been brushed under the carpet of history?
This is no book for those who have a casual interest in football's origins... you need to already have a good background knowledge of the subject before you can appreciate the importance of Harvey's findings, and the academic style will put off casual readers, but this book really does tell a story that really should have been told before. I've been reading uo on the subject for the last five years, and this book, written from a highly balanced viewpoint and drawing on extraordinarily well researched contemporary sources, does indeed turn the whole story of football's first 100 years on its head.
on 16 January 2011
A fascinating insight into the early days of Association and Rugby Football. The rigorous research really pays dividends. However, in the kindle edition, a lot of the tables of data showcasing the research are unreadable. Also many of the illustrations are of very low quality.
In summary, I highly recommend this book to fans of Rugby & Soccer (and also residents of Sheffield) who want to know where the games came from but buy the printed book rather than the digital version.