Football Nation, By Andrew Ward and John Williams

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A collection of mini-essays about aspects of British football, from 1946, when Derby won the FA Cup after the competition was suspended during the war years (quiz question: Who held the FA Cup for 7 years? Answer: Portsmouth, who won it in 1939), to an "A-Z of the New Professional Game", which reflects on how money has changed the game in the 21st century.

Part history, part sociology, the book takes in the Munich air disaster of 1958, the growth of women's football, the emergence of black players, the role of Jimmy Hill (the abolition of wage caps; all-seater stadiums), the Heysel disaster, and the formation of the Premier League.

Not all the essays are equally successful and it's not a book to read at a sitting. But it is ideal fodder for browsing. And whether you like football or not, there's no denying that its development tells us a great deal about British society in the past 65 years.

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