Football Hustlers

It was a Victorian football sensation. Five British players were missing, presumed poached by a mysterious agent for a brand new American League of Professional Football (ALPF) – the first professional football league outside of Britain, and soon regarded as “a huge mistake, a fiasco, and a total failure”.

 

Football Wikipedia

When your club is linked with a player you’ve never heard of, Wikipedia’s 350,000+ football pages are likely to contain all the information you need. But who updates those goal tallies? And more importantly, why? For FourFourTwo, I met the men who keep football Wikipedia bang up to date.

 

Pember’s code

Arthur Pember titillated Victorian New York with his muckraking journalism. He wrote about crime, corruption and a bizarre search for mermaids. But there was one episode he never wrote about: serving as the first president of the Football Association and setting out the Laws of the Game.

 

Elephant football

In the summer of 1899, football’s most famous goalkeeper took on a Sanger’s Circus elephant in what was billed as ‘The Greatest Novelty in the World’ – an elephant-versus-man penalty shoot-out. This is the story of one of the the great football sensations of the Victorian era.

 

Inside out

In the winter of 1905, an American entrepreneur launched an eccentric scheme to create Britain’s first indoor football league. Based at London’s Olympia, the scheme was opposed by the FA and ended in disaster for its protagonists. Written for When Saturday Comes and also published by The Guardian.