In an age when Sky would have football fans believe that the game only existed with the inception in the 1992/93 season of the Premier League, it is a relief to come across a publication that redresses the balance and which looks at the game and its history from its origins in the Victorian era up to the 1980s.
The magazine first appeared in 2002 with a focus as editor Ian Nannestad states that looks at, “the professional game in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, although…also features articles on amateur football and the history of the game in other countries…mostly based on new and original research.”
Contained within this edition are articles about, amongst other things, Women’s football in Scotland in World War One, Upton FC – Great Britain’s first Soccer Olympians and Edinburgh’s Marine Gardens ground. The articles are supplemented by an editorial, which in this edition was an excellent piece titled, Why football needs to be more serious about its history, book reviews and an obituaries section.
Given the nature of the content, there is no doubt that this is not a fluffy, glitzy publication for those who want colour images and soundbites about the Premier League and its ‘stars’. Instead this is a well-researched and written magazine which brings to life stories of the game previously lost in the annals of time. Yes, Soccer History is a serious read, but is not without its lighter side, as the article on a fan’s memories of watching England abroad in the 1960s demonstrates.
If you want to read something that is an antithesis to the banal banter of Sky and the Premier League then this is the publication for you.
The magazine sells at £5 for individual copies through the website (www.soccer-history.co.uk) or from eBay. A subscription is available, of £16.50 for four issues. Please note, these are UK prices and International prices are detailed on the website.