The Rivals Game, by Douglas Beattie
Sunday 13 April 2008
Last Tuesday, Sheffield Wednesday failed by a few minutes to complete their first League double over Sheffield United for 94 years, but this 118-year-old rivalry is not the oldest in British football. In fact it is not even the oldest in Sheffield; Sheffield FC and Hallam have been facing each other since 1860.
Douglas Beattie has done his homework on Britain's major football derbies, and has done an impressive amount of legwork as well, attending matches, talking to fans, club historians and – sadly but necessarily – the police as well. The reasons for such bred-in-the-bone opposition are far more complex than the usual suspects, religion and geography; Beattie demonstrates that social divides, patterns of immigration and – notably in north London and Edinburgh – murky business practices have been significant factors too. Well argued and well written, 'The Rivals Game' offers a great deal for both partisan and impartial lovers of the not-always-beautiful game.
Published by Know The Score Books in hardback, £16.99
TV reviewBroadcasting House was preparing for a visit from Prince Charles spoiler alert
Glastonbury Michael Eavis reveals final headline act 'most likely' British pair
Film Ewan McGregor joins star-studded Beauty and the Beast cast as Lumiere
TVThe Island with Bear Grylls under fire after male contestants kill and eat rare crocodile
Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Frank Lampard's face drops when Holly Willoughby introduces him as a 'Man City legend'
- 2 Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
- 3 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 4 The Visit: Trailer for M Night Shyamalan's latest horror film is terrifying
- 5 9/11: Iranian General accuses US of organising September 11 terror attacks
Fast & Furious 7 overtakes Frozen to become 5th highest grossing movie of all time
Poldark, series 1 finale, review: How a costume drama became a Sunday night swoon-fest
The Visit: Trailer for M Night Shyamalan's latest horror film is terrifying
Apprentice series 11: Claude Littner to replace Nick Hewer as Lord Sugar's aide
Game of Thrones season 5 episode 3, review: Sansa and manhood-lopping torturer Ramsay Bolton - really?
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
Andrew Lloyd Webber: Phantom of the Opera writer mocked after issuing a warning about Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon
General election 2015: Labour will toughen hate crimes legislation surrounding Islamophobia
HSBC review into moving headquarters from UK 'underway'