Islington Corinthians: Football’s first world tour

Islington Corinthians may not be a famous name, but these footballing Phileas Foggs left their mark on history with an extraordinary 1930s round-the-world jaunt involving leopards, cocaine, cobras, crocodiles, and a bullet-strewn carry-on up the Khyber.

The Islington Corinthians were travelling through the Khyber Pass when their bus slammed to a halt and their guide yelled: “Did anyone hear a shot?” The year was 1937, and the team of amateur footballers were partway through an eccentric and unprecedented 35,000-mile, 95-game round-the-world tour. They had survived car crashes, tropical illnesses and encounters with cobras and crocodiles, but none of their exotic adventures had been as buttock-clenchingly terrifying as this drive through the notorious mountain gorge.

Published in the May 2016 issue of FourFourTwo.

English football’s first world tour (PDF clipping)


Paul Brown

Hello. I am a writer called Paul Brown. This is my website. It's basically a portfolio of recent work, plus an outlet to post quick pieces and plug my books. I write about football history, extraordinary true stories, and all kinds of other stuff. For more info please see my about page or contact me.