Beastly Fury: The Strange Birth Of British Football (Paperback)
  • Beastly Fury: The Strange Birth Of British Football (Paperback)
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Beastly Fury: The Strange Birth Of British Football (Paperback)

(author)
£12.99
Paperback 336 Pages / Published: 18/03/2010
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"Footeballe is nothinge but beastlie furie and extreme violence", wrote Thomas Elyot in 1531. Nearly five hundred years later, the game may still seem furious and violent, but it has also become the most popular sport on the planet. This is the story of how the modern, professional, spectator sport of football was born in Britain in the second half of the nineteenth century. It's a tale of testosterone-filled public schoolboys, eccentric mill-owners and bolshy miners, and of why we play football the way we do. Who invented heading? Why do we have an offside law? And why are foreigners so much better than us at the game we invented? Based on exhaustive research, Beastly Fury picks apart the complex processes which forged the modern game, turning accepted wisdom on its head. It's a story which is strangely familiar - of grasping players, corrupt clubs and autocratic officials. It's a tale of brutality, but at times too, of surprising artistry. Above all it's a story of how football, uniquely among the sports of that era, became what it is today - the people's game.

Publisher: Transworld Publishers Ltd
ISBN: 9780553819359
Number of pages: 336
Weight: 231 g
Dimensions: 198 x 127 x 22 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"Love it or hate it, football is one of the most successful institutions ever spawned in these islands. The sheer speed with which a random blend of mud, testosterone and Anglo-Saxon eccentricity evolved into a world game, not to mention a multi-billion-pound industry, still has the power to set the pulse racing. It is a story that has been told many times, but Richard Sanders not only retells it with scholarly zeal, but gives it a new slant... His book is as much a social history as a sporting history, and all the better for it... Beastly Fury can be warmly recommended to anyone curious about the origins of the modern game" -- Max Davidson * Mail on Sunday *
"There is no shortage of football stories. It is one of the subtle triumphs of Richard Sanders's book that he brings another tale gently into the light. Beastly Fury is a bright, breezy account of the beginnings of football. Sanders kicks off with a rush and his pace rarely slackens but something of substance emerges. The author has a keen eye for the personal anecdote whether it be the eccentric goalkeeper or the club secretary who is consumed by ambition. But the significance of Beastly Fury is that it lays bare just how football was born, nurtured and grew on the back of class movements... succint but acute... engaging but quietly serious" -- Hugh MacDonald * Glasgow Herald *
"Sanders's meticulous research is persuasive... [an] original thesis, written with style, wit and authority" -- Simon Redfern * Independent on Sunday *
"Well written and thoughtful... extremely good indeed" -- Rod Liddle * Sunday Times *
"Smooth, pacey prose... fascinating" -- Alex Wade * Times Literary Supplement *

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