Victorian Football

boys versus men

In modern football, when a team is thoroughly outclassed, a commentator might refer to a game as being "boys against men". In Victorian football, that expression could be used rather more literally. In Darlington in 1880, a team of boys were pitted against men - and beat them 4-1.

This wonderful illustration, "Boys Versus Men - The Rival Teams", was printed in the Graphic newspaper, having originally appeared in a book of lithographs entitled Random Drawings of Darlingtonian Doings by John Dinsdale. "Mark the grotesque attitudes of the adults," noted the Graphic, "and the, if possible, even more grotesque positions of their juvenile adversaries."

How did we become football fans? Savage Enthusiasm: A History of Football Fans is the brand new book from Goal Post's Paul Brown, tracing the remarkable evolution of the fan from the earliest origins of the game right through to the present day.
It's available from at the sale price of £10 (RRP £12.99), and from Amazon stores worldwide.

Leave a Comment