No Foreign Game: Association Football and the Making of Irish Identities

Author James Quinn
Condition New
Cover Type Softback

From its earliest days, association football was seen not just as a contest between individuals and teams, but also between nations and peoples. The Irish national team was among the first in the world to participate in international competition in the early 1880s, but not everyone accepted it as a truly national entity. Sport in Ireland was disputed ground in a manner that was not the case elsewhere – even the term ‘football’ itself was a contested one. But soccer followers generally found no contradiction between their sporting and national loyalties, and the game found an important niche in Irish life, supported by many leading nationalists, from James Connolly to John Hume.

This book provides a unique window into the history of Ireland and Britain, with keen insights into the making of national, regional, sectarian, class and gender identities that crystallised around Irish soccer. Taking the story from the 1870s up to the present, it examines the domestic as well the international game in Ireland, North and South, and sets both in a richly detailed historical and cultural context. It also examines the experience of Irish communities in England and Scotland, and the ways in which the game affected their relationship with their host societies.

Carefully weaving together political, social, cultural and sporting history, No Foreign Game tells a story not just of division and conflict, but also one of solidarity and celebration, and in doing so it breaks new ground in the history of Irish sport.

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