Victorian Football

Goal-Post cover 72dpi (web)Goal-Post: Victorian Football Vol 1
Edited by Paul Brown
Paperback, ISBN 9780956227034, RRP £8.99

Goal-Post: Victorian Football Vol 2
Edited by Paul Brown
Paperback, ISBN 9780956227065, RRP £8.99

*No longer available in shops. We can supply both books direct at £17.98 plus £2.80 UK delivery. Please order via PayPal or contact us for more details.*

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'Beautifully written material' – When Saturday Comes

Goal-Post is an anthology of Victorian football writing, containing first-hand accounts of the birth and development of the world’s greatest game, written by those who were there to witness it. Presented over two volumes, Goal-Post highlights some of the players, officials, clubs and matches that helped shape and define the game, and provides a flavour of what it must have been like to have enjoyed football in the latter part of the nineteenth century.


Vol 1:
Football by J. D., 1887
"It brings into play all the wits of a man’s mind and every sinew of his body, so that it is at once wholesome and invigorating to both." (1,500 words)
Playing Up by C. W. Alcock, 1869
"Football is a game which, from the very nature of its constitution, necessitates the undivided attention of every player engaged, be he great or small, fast or slow." (700 words)
Cup Ties and Professionalism, An Interview with Tinsley Lindley, 1888
"Mr. T. Lindley, the captain of the Cambridge Football Eleven, is considered by many to be the finest 'forward' of the day." (1,000 words)
The Fight for the Association Cup, West Bromwich Albion v Preston North End, 1888
"It was really most melancholy to reflect that, in the face of so much earnestness and such savage enthusiasm, both sides could not win." (900 words)
A History of Football by Montague Shearman, 1887
"Football may fairly claim to be not only the oldest and the most characteristic, but the most essentially popular sport of England." (6,700 words)
A Football Match, From a Correspondent, 1892
"There is no other game which is capable of producing the eagerness and excitement that are noticeable at every good football match." (1,400 words)
Latter-Day Football by A Crude Critic, 1888
"The clever footballer is a celebrity. It may be right, or it may be wrong, that he should be so, and that he should turn his position to making the best pecuniary advantage for himself." (800 words)
Making a Big Football Club, Frank Brettell and the Hotspurs by Henry Leach, 1898
"Mr. Brettell is the new secretary and manager of the Tottenham Hotspur Football Club, which has embarked upon an enterprise of a most daring and important character." (2,000 words)
Opening the Season by A Special Correspondent, 1898
"The majority of professional footballers give themselves up to lounging and excessive eating, not to mention excessive drinking." (1,700 words)
Association Football in Scotland by David Drummond Bone, 1880
"Nothing seems to frighten the Scotch Association football player. Rain, hail, snow, and even frost, is treated with cool indifference." (4,500 words)
Our League Team by A Spectator, 1892
"If they win their fame is immediately enhanced. After a course of victories in foreign parts, the love of their followers seems to burst all reasonable bounds." (1,400 words)
A Meeting of Captains, The Formation of the Football Association, 1863
"It had been proposed to form an association, which should meet once a year and correct anything that was wrong if it should be necessary to do so." (800 words)
The First Match, President’s Side v Secretary’s Side, 1864
"The first match played actually under the new rules of the Football Association took place on Saturday, Jan 9, in Battersea Park." (200 words)
An Action for Libel, Newton Heath v the Birmingham Gazette, 1894
"In referring to the match, the Gazette said:— 'It was not football, it was simply brutality.'" (2,100 words)
How to Play at Football by George Forrest, 1862
"At present, the rules seem to be entirely arbitrary, depending on the local regulations of the spot where the game is played." (3,100 words)
How Referees are Tricked by A Referee, 1893
"All's fair in love and war — and in modern Association football." (600 words) Read this article in full
International Association Match, England v Scotland, 1872
"A splendid display of football in the really scientific sense of the word, and a most determined effort on the part of the representatives of the two nationalities." (1,100 words)
Association Football and How to Master It, G. O. Smith Talks about the Great Game by C. Duncan Lewis, 1896
"No authority is better qualified to give advice than Mr. G. O. Smith, the famous International Association footballer." (1,700 words)
Football by the Electric Light, A Football Experiment, 1878
"The contest was the first ever played in this country — or anywhere else, we believe — with the aid of artificial illumination." (1,800 words)
Calcio, or Football in Italy by Helen Zimmern, 1900
"Calcio rudely translated would be simply 'kick' in English, and therefore we may infer that it resembles our football." (1,600 words)
Out With a League Team by Henry Leach, 1900
"The players were carried away on shoulders, and outside were mounted on trucks and asked for speeches. Football madness was in the air." (6,700 words)

goal_post_vol2_cover_72dpiVol 2:
Our Winter Pastime by C.B. Fry, 1895
"North of the Tweed, football begins almost as soon as the first old cock-grouse falls, a crumpled mass of feathers, into his native heather." (4,200 words)
How to Form a Football Club, And How to Ensure Its Success by T. Murray Forde, 1880
"Mamby-pamby youths and dandified duffers had better give football a wide berth, for if the game is played heartily, grazed shins and bruised arms are by no means rare." (4,100 words)
Trials and Troubles of a Football Secretary by Anonymous, 1893
"'Only represented by half the usual team' is not a bad excuse for a licking.Never once did we admit that we had been fairly beaten. We were the champion apologists of the county." (1,000 words)
The Early History of the Football Association by R. G. Graham, 1899
"In view of the present widely spread popularity of football, it is curious to note that in 1860 only two clubs, the Dingley Dell and Crusaders, appeared in the sporting papers as playing first-class matches." (5,000 words)
Footballs and Football Boots by Quinbus Flestrin, 1893
"The nature of footballs deserves a little more attention than most people suppose, and a great deal more than it usually gets." (1,700 words)
The Football Trains by I. C. I., 1886
"So this is the game of football, the Dobbin among sports; not best known in society, not polished, or of gentle manners, but of good sterling worth for all that." (1,200 words)
Wanderers v. Royal Engineers, Association Challenge Cup Final Tie, 1872
"The weather was remarkably fine, too hot for the winter game, but there were not a great number of visitors at the Oval on Saturday afternoon, the reason being possibly that an admission fee of 1s was charged." (900 words)
Has No Equal in England, An Hour with Mr. Ernest Needham by Tom H. Fowler, 1899
"He is by no means a giant, but possesses all the agility of a cat, and has a nasty way, say his opponents, “of bobbing up alongside a fellow when least expected." (1,700 words)
Match by Women in Edinburgh, Scotland v. England, 1881
"So it has come at last! What next? Two teams of young women have just played a game under Association Rules in Edinburgh." (650 words)
Out on a Football Tour by An Old “England” Man, 1892
"How keenly the onlookers watch the game! How well they appreciate and note every little display of science!" (1,300 words)
The Association Game by Montague Shearman, 1887
"No words of ours can adequately describe the present popularity of football with the public — a popularity which, though great in the metropolis, is infinitely greater in the large provincial towns." (14,000 words)
A Little Game of Football by Canicula, 1864
"We had both been practising for some time unbeknown to each other, in order to make a respectable show when the eventful day came." (3,200 words)
An Old Football Annual by Alfred Davis, 1892
"What has become of such old giants as the Gitanos, Harrow Chequers, Pilgrims, and Woodford Wells? And of the Arabs, the Shooflies, and the Wimbledon Hornets?" (1,700 words)
Novel Football Match, Sheffield Players against Zulus, 1879
"It may be necessary to state that the Zulus were only Zulus in name. They were not black men, but veritable whites." (200 words)
Is Football Dangerous and Demoralising? An Interview with Mr. N. L. Jackson, 1889
"Of course, a football match, like any other gathering, may be made the occasion of drink, but less so than a cricket match, for instance, which lasts much longer" (1,400 words)
The New Football Mania by Charles Edwards, 1892
"There is no mistake about it, the exercise is a passion nowadays and not merely a recreation. It is much on a par with the bull fight in Spain." (4,700 words)
Blackburn Olympic v. Old Etonians, Association Challenge Cup Final Tie, 1883
"One of the largest attendances ever seen on a football field in the metropolitan district visited Kennington Oval last Saturday afternoon to witness this — the most important match of the season." (1,400 words)
Trials of a Modern Football Referee, An Interview with Mr. J. B. Brodie, 1895
"Among the many well-known referees of the Association code, none are more qualified to officiate in important matches than Mr. J. B. Brodie, an old International player." (900 words)
Clubbery in Various Forms by Anonymous, 1872
"Football has set in with its usual severity. Indeed it seems to set in each season with increasing severity." (900 words)
Football Match at Bramall Lane, Sheffield v. Hallam, 1862
"For a few minutes there was every appearance of a general fight amongst players and spectators. The advice of older and cooler heads at length prevailed, the field was cleared, and play again resumed." (600 words)
An Elephantine Football Final by W. M. Duckworth Junr, 1899
"Football, as practised by a mammal of some tonnage, naturally becomes a weighty subject. To tackle a half-back weighing four tons is enough to strike terror into the strongest heart." (1,800 words)


'There has been a recent growth of interest in Victorian football, possibly because, as the editor here speculates, we "have grown weary of certain aspects of modern football [and] will no doubt have much to admire in the Victorian game". Beautifully written material.' – When Saturday Comes
'A wonderful journey of discovery, allowing the reader an insight into the birth and growth of football through those who were there in its formative years. If you are looking for a thought provoking read and a different perspective on the Beautiful Game, then this anthology is for you' - Football Book Reviews
'An anthology of some of the very best football writing from that gas-lit era of Sherlock Holmes and Jack the Ripper. This collection of contemporary articles and extracts covers the birth and development of the game, many written by its first paid observers. It is a brilliant idea, thoughtfully executed.' - Sports Journalists' Association
As featured, with an extract from Goal-Post by Henry Leach, in issue seven of The Blizzard

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Goal-Post Vols 1&2

Goal-Post: Victorian Football Vol 1
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9780956227034
Size: 203x127mm
Pages: 236
Published: 2012
Publisher: Goal-Post, Superelastic
RRP: £8.99

Goal-Post: Victorian Football Vol 2
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9780956227065
Size: 203x127mm
Pages: 236
Published: 2013
Publisher: Goal-Post, Superelastic

*No longer available in shops. We can supply both books direct at £17.98 plus £2.80 UK delivery. Please order via PayPal or contact us for more details.*

buy via paypal

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.