Victorian Football

A selection of reviews, features and extracts:

The Victorian Football Miscellany
All With Smiling Faces
Goal-Post: Victorian Football Vol 1
Goal-Post: Victorian Football Vol 2

The Victorian Football Miscellany:

The Victorian Football Miscellany on Baker & Kelly's VSPO
Baker & Kelly's VSPO
A Victorian football Christmas edition of the BT Sport TV show featuring Miscellany author Paul Brown. "One of the greatest books ever written about football since Charlie Buchan put down his pen!" More

A clip from the TV show is featured on the Daily Mirror website.

The Victorian Football Miscellany in FourFourTwo
“Compiling hundreds of histories, oddities and match reports – bizarre rule changes, 19th century floodlight failures – it’s all here. Four stars.” More

The Victorian Football Miscellany in When Saturday Comes
When Saturday Comes
"The colourful transitions the game went through to become the beast we know today are endlessly fascinating. This book doesn't set out to tell the story in dense, sober detail, opting instead to present itself as a hugely entertaining exercise in eavesdropping." More

Miscellany author Paul Brown on the Danny Baker Show
The Danny Baker Show on BBC Radio 5 Live
A Victorian special "in honour of" the Victorian Football Miscellany. “Danny explores Victorian football, knickerbockers and moustaches with author Paul Brown.”

An extract from the interview was featured on BBC Radio 4's Pick of the Week, selected by Sheila McClennon. You can listen to the clip here:

The Victorian Football Miscellany book review
"As the FA celebrates its 150th anniversary, this book is a cracking insight into those pioneering days; a veritable cornucopia of eclectic Victorian footballing splendour!" More

Study of football telegraphs more innocent age
Sports Journalists' Association
“Anton Rippon delights in discovering a cornucopia of sports miscellany.” More

Sports book chat with Paul Brown
The Tomkins Times
“It is unlikely that anyone will accuse Paul Brown of looking for easy hits. His last two books deal with football in the Victorian era and in some instances they appear to deal with a completely different ball game.” More

Victorian football book a great read
Derby Telegraph
“I thought about that incident again this week, when reading a charming new book The Victorian Football Miscellany.” More

Victorian Football Miscellany book review
England Football Online
“The game that was played before the close of the nineteenth century is brought to life in Paul Brown's excellent anecdoctal book. ” More

The Blue & White Book Reviews
The Blue & White
"An extremely readable book. Brown has a thorough yet light-hearted approach to the subjects he covers." More

The Football Attic Book Club
The Football Attic
"Fascinating stuff and gives a wonderful insight into how football began in the UK." More

The Alcock Internationals – Unofficial Victorian Football (extract)
Unofficial Football World Championships
"A series of unofficial international matches were played between 1870 and 1872. In this exclusive extract from new book The Victorian Football Miscellany we look at those unofficial Victorian football matches." More

Get the Victorian Football Miscellany

All With Smiling Faces:

The forgotten grounds of Newcastle United – The Chronicle
How the fledgling Magpies played at four long-forgotten grounds in the East End of Newcastle

New book by Paul Brown looks at Newcastle United’s golden past – The Journal
Newcastle fan was looking for something to smile about – and ended up writing a book

Why Newcastle United fans are among the most passionate in football – The Chronicle
New book explores the Victorian and Edwardian roots of Newcastle’s huge and fervent fan base

All With Smiling Faces book review – When Saturday Comes
How Newcastle United started out under the names Stanley FC and Newcastle East End

Total Sport – BBC Radio Newcastle
Author Paul Brown talks about his new Newcastle United book to Simon Pryde and John Anderson


Get All With Smiling Faces

Goal-Post: Victorian Football Vol 1:

Goal-Post: Victorian Football book review
"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." More

A history of match reports from the gas-lit era
Sports Journalists' Association
"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." More

Past master
When Saturday Comes
"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'." More

Goal-Post in The Blizzard
An extract from The Blizzard Issue Seven
"In the run-up to the release of Issue Seven, we will be offering you a sneak peek at a couple of excerpts of articles from the forthcoming issue. The second is from another Blizzard debutant, Henry Leach, on following a football league team around the turn of the century." More

Goal-Post on BBC World Football
BBC World Football
"We travel back to the earliest days of football as played by association rules." Alan Green interviews Goal-Post editor Paul Brown (free download, interview begins around 18 minutes in). More

Goal-Post on RTE Sport at 7
Sport at 7 with Damien O'Meara
"We take a journey through the early days of soccer with the editor of a new anthology of Victoria football writing Paul Brown." Damien O'Meara interviews the Goal-Post editor (free download, interview begins around 17 minutes in). More

Was Off-Side Britain's first newspaper football columnist?
The Guardian
Off-Side began writing "football notes" in February 1885. He was one of several columnists with with similar pen-names, such as Goal-Post, Full-Back and Spectator. According to Paul Brown - editor of the book Goal-Post: Victorian Football - these early writers played a key part in the development of football. More

A wealth of Victorian football history
Sunday Sun
"Footballers trying to con the refs, a need for goalline technology, and superstar players returning fat and unfit from their summers of excess... The complaints are the same as from any modern fan in any pub or on any terrace in the land. Except they’re not the gripes of present-day punters, but complaints from the Victorian era." More

Celebrating Victoriana
Game of the People
"How marvellous it is that the roots of English football are finally being truly appreciated. A new book, Goal-Post, an anthology of Victorian football writing, has opened the door on a whole new genre of study in the game. What the book reveals is that the game has always attracted controversy, even in its gas-lit, hansom cab days. This tome contains tales of overpaid players, cheating, violence, legal battles and general bad behaviour. No change there, then." More

Even Victorians needed goal-line technology
Derby Telegraph
"A collection of contemporary articles and extracts covers the birth and development of the game. I was particularly amused by an article entitled How Referees Are Tricked. 'A Referee' tells us: 'Some quick passing and a cross-shot into goal frequently results in the ball going just inside the posts. The referee is unable to keep up with the ball and consequently is uncertain whether it went between the posts or not.' Goal-line technology certainly has been a long time in coming." More

The Blue & White Book Reviews
The Blue & White
"Gives a feel not only of the events that shaped the development of the game, but also what those who lived through those events thought. It's a fascinating insight into the attitude of supporters of the sport at its earliest point." More

Review: Goal-Post: Victorian Football
Mist Rolling In
"Goal-Post has only just been released and brings to the table original Victorian writing on the game. Despite being focused on the Victorian era of the game it is interesting to note some of the topics which still resonate today. The book as a whole provides an excellent introduction to the early years of Association Football and possesses a variety of stories which keeps it fresh for the reader across the total of 21 articles and features." More

Goal-Post: the first ever international football match (extract)
Unofficial Football World Championships
"This important match was played on the West of Scotland Cricket Ground, on Saturday, and resulted in a drawn game, after 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 to overcome each other." More

Light fantastic: A look back at the first floodlit football match
Late Tackle
"In 1878, the year that Joseph Swan patented the incandescent light bulb, the first floodlit game of football took place – but it wasn’t a particular success. Up until then, the traditional 3pm kick off had been settled upon as a convenient time to ensure that the final whistle blew before the sun went down. However, frustrations over the failure to decide the 1876 FA Cup Final (when bad light curtailed extra time) brought calls for illuminated matches." A detailed account of the first floodlit match appears in Goal-Post.

Goal-Post: an anthology of Victorian football writing
Stuff by Paul Brown
"It’s easy to get lost in the Victorian football archives, drawn into the boxes and binders and microfiches by colourful, first-hand accounts of the beginnings of the greatest game in the world. These writers were covering something that was fresh and new, and their enthusiasm is apparent in the articles collected in the book." More

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Goal-Post: Victorian Football Vol 2:

Victorian writing collection that is really on the ball
Sports Journalists' Association
"Published in the year of the 150th anniversary of the Football Association and the 125th anniversary of the Football League, Goal-Post volume 2 arrives at a time when there is a sharper than usual focus on the Victorian game." More

Goal-Post: Victorian Football Vol 2 book review
"As with Volume 1, this collection of Victorian writing provides the reader with a unique range of food for thought... It's football, gentlemen, but not as we know it." More

Goal-Post: Victorian Football Vol
Stuff by Paul Brown
"One notable featured writer is the great Corinthian CB Fry, who discusses the relative merits of football versus cricket. As one of only 12 men to have represented England at both sports, he is almost uniquely qualified to comment." More

Get Goal-Post Vol 2

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.