History of the magic sponge

The latest issue of FourFourTwo magazine contains a big feature on football injuries, which includes a piece by me on the history of injury treatment and the football trainer’s miraculous magic sponge.

“The magic sponge is one of football’s most familiar artefacts, having being variously applied to players’ bumps and bruises for more than a hundred years. Originally used in boxing and athletics to help relieve pain and reduce swelling, the cold wet sponge became popularly regarded in football as an apparently miraculous cure for virtually any injury. ‘It’s remarkable what that magic sponge can do,” wrote a football reporter in the 1930s. “One dab appears to cure broken legs.'”

Read the full story in the November 2014 issue of FourFourTwo.

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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.