Victorian Football

In the early 1900s, an eccentric scheme to create Britain's first indoor football league was opposed by the FA and ended in disaster for its protagonists.

In the winter of 1905, an American entrepreneur launched an eccentric scheme to create Britain’s first indoor football league. The venue was London’s Olympia, the largest indoor arena in the country, its grand hall seating 9,000 spectators under a 115-foot-high barrelled roof. The idea was to recruit an in-house team of famous players, and invite the country’s leading clubs to compete against them for a national indoor trophy. The man behind the ambitious enterprise was Kentuckian theatre manager Edwin Cleary, a career-hopping former trainee priest, law student, railroad builder and Shakespearean actor.

Originally published in the October 2015 issue of When Saturday Comes.

Read the full article on the Guardian website.


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 Amazon.co.uk at the sale price of £10 (RRP £12.99), and from Amazon stores worldwide. There are also a limited number of signed copies available direct from the author - click here for details.

Leave a Comment