All With Smiling Faces: How Newcastle Became United

A wander through Newcastle’s early history to discover how the club came to mean so much to so many. Covering the first 30 years, from its foundation as Stanley FC in 1881 to the triumphant FA Cup win in 1910, the book visits the grounds, meets the players, mingles with the fans, and relives the matches that made Newcastle United.

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Posted 29 September 2014

The Victorian Football Miscellany

A quirky and fascinating collection of trivia, facts and anecdotes from football’s earliest years. Delve into an absorbing world of ox-bladder balls, baggy-kneed knickerbockers and outstanding moustaches, and read remarkable tales of the first ever cup final, the invention of the shinpad, the evolution of dribbling, the first own goal and a penalty-taking elephant.

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Posted 9 April 2013

The Lost Pirate of Blackbeard’s Golden Age

Edward Robinson lived a life of high adventure alongside history’s most infamous pirates. But was he really a murderous sea-robber, and did he deserve his brutal fate? This major extract from my book Sins Dyed In Blood: In Search of the Newcastle Pirate was published at Medium.

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Posted 30 April 2015

Half-Time: A History

Footballers haven’t always had 15 minutes to catch their breath. The original Laws of the Game included no reference to half-time, and instead required teams to change ends after each goal was scored.

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Posted 9 April 2015