The Myths We Live By: Football, History and the Invention of Tradition – Professor Tony Collins

Date: Thursday 22 March

Time: 5:00-6:30pm

Location: HC.0.06, Heart of Campus, Collegiate Campus, Sheffield Hallam University

Book tickets (free admission)


The history of sport is a palimpsest. Meanings, interpretations and purposes are written and rewritten over that history as people seek to give a broader significance to the act of play. Details and fragments are reassembled and rearranged to create a story that meets the desires and demands of different generations, social groups and ideologies.

This paper looks at the ways in which the history of football in its different varieties has been continually invented and reinvented. It will look at the re-emergence of the William Webb Ellis myth, the creation story of American football and in particular the invented traditions of early Sheffield football to ask why sport needs a mythology and what this tells us about the role of sport in contemporary society.

Speaker bio


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