The 1870 Education Act that opened up elementary education for all children contained no provision for outdoor games. This book explains how teachers, through the elementary school football association, introduced boys to organized football as an out-of-school activity. The influence and significance of this work, insofar as it relates to the elementary school curriculum and the growth of professional and amateur football are explored in detail, including:
* How ideological commitments and contemporary concerns for the physical welfare of children in cities may have led teachers to promote schoolboy football when it was not permitted during school hours
* The extent to which out of school organised football may have led to outdoor games being accepted as part of the school curriculum
* How elementary school football in London in the late nineteenth century influenced the development of the amateur game.
This is a fascinating account of the origins of schoolboy football and the factors that have influenced its development and the consequences and benefits that have followed not only for school football but for sport in schools and communities as a whole.
'The book is a tour de force of social and educational history which whets the appetite.' - Gerald Haigh, Times Educational Supplement (Book of the Week, 6 May 2005)
'This book has been well researched over several years, and has an extensive biography and cross references...a valuable addition to soccer's early history and its personality' - NLR The Football History Magazine, August 2005