Fathers of Football

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More About This Title Fathers of Football


The long-overlooked story of a number of adventurous Britons who left their homeland before World War I to inspire and shape the growth of modern soccer in continental Europe and South America. Drawn from widely different backgrounds, their motivations and contributions were diverse—helping to form legendary clubs now supported by millions across the globe; bringing revolutionary changes to the way soccer was taught and played; and laying the foundations on which the game would continue to flourish. Full of entertaining accounts and anecdotes from the birth of the global game, Fathers of Football places the lives of these innovators soundly in historical and social context. They all left a deep and lasting impression on soccer in the countries they worked in; yet for too long Britain turned its back on their lessons and achievements. Even today they remain largely unknown—prophets more honored abroad than at home.


Keith Baker is the author of a book on the 1908 London Olympics and a biography of the chemist and philosopher, Joseph Priestley.