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For those who are serious about their football history
The website that celebrates a time when the game was bigger than the players
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Welcome to Soccerhistory.org.uk
This is a website for those who are serious about their football history. It aims to take a fresh look at every aspect of football before the 1970s. This includes a commitment to original research and an interactive approach that encourages football fans to share their stories and to discuss the great players and the legendary matches of the past with each other. From the era of the great amateur footballers of the Victorian era through to the end of the maximum wage, we want to bring you the remarkable story of the rise of football from a public school sport to the game adored by millions across the world.
This website will not just feature the great players and managers, but also the characters that have enriched the game over the past century and a half. New articles will appear on the history of the game: beginning with the story of those players who made the ultimate sacrifice during the First World War and the birth of the game from the English public schools to the first professional players.
We aim to incorporate your ideas and suggestions into the website to make it a source of information for those who wish to research football history. That's why we want to hear from you. Do you have stories about the great players of the past? Did you witness one of the great matches? Do you feel that certain players or managers never got the recognition they deserve? Perhaps you have old photographs you wish to share with other football fans or have you published a football book you wish to promote. Well, at last there is a website which is devoted to you. What are you waiting for? Get in touch...
Dr Ian Maxwell
History of football in Australia
Originating as a British Penal colony it is not difficult to imagine that the Aussies have been playing football for us long as ourselves. The truth of the matter is quite different in fact, and the game that the Australians originally took from the British was one played with an oval ball - rugby. Australia's first rugby club - the Sydney Football Union was established as early as 1863. It was only a few years later that Australian Rules Football (AFL) was devised, primarily as a way of keeping the cricketers fit in the off season. AFL is still the most popular sport in Australia, attracting millions of spectators and a larger football bet amount placed than the other ball sports combined.
In contrast, football - the sport played by over 250 million people worldwide - came late to Australia. The Aussies are making up for lost time however, and the introduction of the elite A League combined with Australia's national teams successful appearance in the world cup in 2006 has meant that popularity has rocketed. Interest in the many Aussie stars playing in top leagues in Europe has also increased exposure to the sport, and kids playing soccer in the playground are aspiring to be like their heroes such as Harry Kewell and Mark Viduka, instead of just being interested in racing odds and rugby scores.
Today 'soccer' in Australia is right up there with the other sports for popularity, and you can regularly meet Australians who are passionate about horse racing Melbourne Cup betting, soccer, rugby and cricket.
Lots of Australians like to try their luck playing on a betting site hoping that their team will win. In 1997-98, Australians spent $11.1 billion on gambling and in 2001-01, it increased to $14.337 billion.
There are regional variations of Football in Australia and the word "Football" (and also the derived colloquialism "footy") can refer to them all. They are: Rugby union, Australian rules football, rugby league and Association football (soccer), with different levels of popularity based on different measures in different regions. In some areas, all types of football are popular, in others there one may have the monopoly.
This page was last updated on 23-Oct-2010.