Until relatively recent times the FA Cup final provided the real climax to the English football season. From the early 1890s onwards (and probably from before this time) the magic of The Cup meant that FA Cup ties, particularly in the latter stages of the competition, were often played in a carnival atmosphere. Fans wore fancy dress, teams had lucky mascots (often live animals in the pre-World War One era) and huge crowds attended the matches. Fans created their own songs, often adaptations of popular music hall songs of the day.
Donald Bell was the only English professional footballer to win the Victoria Cross during the First World War. This article offers detail on his sporting career, particularly during his time as a student in London, and his football career on his return to Yorkshire.
In 2016, a new network made up of military historians with an interest in football and football club historians was formally launched at a symposium held at the University of Wolverhampton. The network has got off the ground due to an initial grant from the Oxford United Chairman, Darryl Eales and is based at the Centre for Historical Research, University of Wolverhampton. The National Football Museum based in Manchester along with Soccer History Magazine and Back Pass have also added their support to the project.