Learn more about the history of soccer.

Interested in Soccer History? Here Are Some Places to Start

February 3, 2021

As it is the true sport of the world, the history of soccer (football) is immense, complicated, and rather all-encompassing. If you're interested in learning a bit more about soccer history, here are some good places to start. First, we have a whole blog post in which we attempt to describe the history and structure…

#11 Ronnie Radford celebrates his giant-killing FA Cup goal

10 Famous FA Cup “Giant Killings”

January 6, 2021

Everyone loves an underdog, and in the FA Cup everyone loves a "giant killing" -- except for the giants, of course. Since knowing something about the "magic of the FA Cup" is essential to understanding the history and culture of English football, let's take a look at 10 of the more famous upsets in FA…

black country derby west brom wolverhampton

Boxing Day Football Fixtures, Past and Present

December 23, 2020

Boxing Day football fixtures have been a tradition in England for decades, so let's review some of the more interesting ones for 2023 and then take a look back at memorable Boxing Day games. Boxing Day Football: A Very Brief History December 26 has been known as Boxing Day for centuries, whose name comes from workers…

Sir Bobby Robson statue at Newcastle United St. James Park

English Football Documentary Reveals Sir Bobby Robson

December 3, 2020

Here's an interesting trivia question: Name an individual in English football who was honored by a statue at more than one club. I can think of two. The other one we'll get to, but for now I want my readers to meet Sir Bobby Robson, legendary manager of Ipswich Town, Newcastle United, the English national…

Kickoff of a football game at AFC Wimbledon's Plough Lane.

AFC Wimbledon Comes Home to Plough Lane: A Remarkable English Football Story

November 14, 2020

The story of AFC Wimbledon is one that many Americans won't know, but on the occasion of their return to Plough Lane this week, it's one that I encourage you to learn. (Some of this is drawn from the Wimbledon chapter of our book, The Groundhopper Guide to Soccer in England. Find out more and…

english soccer terms

“City!” is a Blast to the Past of English Football

June 8, 2020

The "behind the scenes" video of a football club has become almost a cliché at this point. But there was a time when that wasn't the case. And if you want to visit that time -- as well as time-travel to a place so long ago that Manchester City was a struggling club -- then…

Movie Review: Remembering Sir Stanley Matthews

May 30, 2020

One of the things I do at Groundhopper Guides is introduce non-English, mostly American people to the world of English football. As such, I need to tell you about Sir Stanley Matthews. Perhaps you know the name. Speaking to Americans, the best comparison I can think of is a combination of Johnny Unitas and John…

fans in the terraces at the abbey stadium

What is the Taylor Report?

March 29, 2019

If you’re sort of new to English football, part of the learning process involves knowing what people are talking about. So one question you might come up with is, What is the Taylor Report? Here is a quick history lesson. The Hooligan Days Back in the 1970s and 1980s, Britain was experiencing social and economic…

Notable “Great Escapes” in English Soccer

February 17, 2018

In an excerpt from our book, The Groundhopper Guide to Soccer in England, Paul discusses a common theme in football history: The Great Escape. A Great Escape is simply when a team seems "nailed on" for relegation to the next league down in the English football pyramid, only to beat "the drop" and "stay up."…

A Brief History of Football – and “Soccer”

February 15, 2018

What is the history of the game of football? And where does the word "soccer" come from? Read on to find out. As an American, I catch some crap – or I should say, “get some stick” – from English people about the word “soccer.” Here, I will arm you for self defense, and also…

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