“Surely, soccer’s the American word for football”, is a view commonly expressed by many followers of the game. But, as we shall see, it is a British English word with a history almost as old as that of ‘association football’, from which it derives. In this article I shall consider the origins of the word ‘soccer’ and when it came into use.
Graham Taylor, who has died at the age of 72, was one of the great club managers of the post-war period achieving success with his first three clubs: Lincoln City, Watford and Aston Villa. He later had a three-year spell as manager of the England national team before returning to club management with Wolves, Watford and Villa. This tribute will focus on the early part of his career and his introduction to management with Lincoln City.
Christmas Day football was one of the great traditions of the English game and through until the 1920s, the Christmas Day home fixture was often the occasion when clubs attracted one of their highest home gates of the season. That tradition was still popular into the 1950s but effectively disappeared altogether by the end of that decade. Its decline was sudden: Christmas Day 1957 saw a near full round of fixtures: 37 out of a maximum 46 games took place; in 1959 there were just two games.