Rugby League in Twentieth Century Britain: A Social and Cultural History

Front Cover
Routledge, Sep 27, 2006 - History - 272 pages

Called ‘the greatest game of all’ by its supporters but often overlooked by the cultural mainstream, no sport is more identified with England’s northern working class than rugby league.

This book traces the story of the sport from the Northern Union of the 1900s to the formation of the Super League in the 1990s, through war, depression, boom and deindustrialisation, into a new economic and social age.

Using a range of previously unexplored archival sources, this extremely readable and deeply researched book considers the impact of two world wars, the significance of the game’s expansion to Australasia and the momentous decision to take rugby league to Wembley. It investigates the history of rugby union’s long-running war against league, and the sport’s troubled relationship with the national media.

Most importantly, this book sheds new light on issues of social class and working-class masculinity, regional identity and the profound impact of the decline of Britain’s traditional industries. For all those interested in the history of sport and working-class culture, this is essential reading.

 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

the origins of rugby league
1
1 Rugby league and the First World War
10
2 League on the dole? The game in the depression years
23
the professional player 191939
43
4 Wembley and the road from Wigan Pier
56
5 Rugby league in the Peoples War
74
6 From boom to bust 194570
87
the rules of the game
105
class gender and race
141
beyond the heartlands
162
12 From slump to Super League 197595
172
13 A proletariat at play
185
Appendices
195
Notes
205
Bibliography
228
Index
239

AngloAustralian rugby league
115
rugby unions war against rugby league
130

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Bibliographic information