By Tony Collins
From the parable of William Webb Ellis to the honor of the 2003 international Cup win, this publication explores the social historical past of rugby union in England.
Ever considering the fact that Tom Brown’s Schooldays the game has visible itself because the mother or father of conventional English middle-class values. during this attention-grabbing new heritage, prime rugby historian Tony Collins demonstrates how those values have formed the English online game, from the general public colleges to mass spectator game, from strict amateurism to international professionalism.
Based on unparalleled entry to the authentic documents of the Rugby soccer Union, and drawing on a magnificent array of assets from membership mins to non-public memoirs and modern literature, the publication explores in bright aspect the most important occasions, personalities and avid gamers that experience made English rugby.
From an period of fast progress on the finish of the 19th century, during the poor losses suffered in the course of the First global conflict and the next ‘rush to rugby’ within the public and grammar colleges, and into the classes of disorientation and commercialisation within the Sixties via to the current day, the tale of English rugby union can also be the tale of the making of contemporary England.
Like all of the absolute best writers on recreation, Tony Collins makes use of recreation as a prism in which to raised comprehend either tradition and society. A ground-breaking paintings of either social historical past and recreation heritage, A Social background of English Rugby Union tells a desirable tale of carrying endeavour, masculine identification, imperial ideology, social awareness and the character of Englishness.
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Additional info for A Social History of English Rugby Union
4 In 1877 the leadership of Yorkshire rugby decided to bring a structure to local rivalry by organising a knock-out tournament, the Yorkshire Cup. Crowds ﬂocked to the cup-ties. At Halifax, where four years previously there had been no club, 8,000 people ﬂocked to see the team play Wakeﬁeld. The following season 12,000 people watched Wakeﬁeld Trinity win the cup. 5 From sixteen teams in its ﬁrst year, the cup attracted sixty-four by 1881, a ﬁgure that would more than double over the next decade.
5 From sixteen teams in its ﬁrst year, the cup attracted sixty-four by 1881, a ﬁgure that would more than double over the next decade. Crowds grew in a similarly explosive way. 6 This pattern was repeated across England. A county cup competition began in Cheshire in 1877, in Durham and Northumberland in 1881 and in Cumberland in 1882. In Cornwall in 1877 Penryn were proclaimed as county champions after losing only one match all season, a Devon cup began in 1887 and a cup competition was organised by the Midland Counties Rugby Union in 1882.
In Lancashire the Vale of Lune club committee protested to the RFU in 1902 about the refusal to allow two players who ‘are landed proprietors, and may ﬁgure in Burke’s [Peerage]’ to play the union game because they had previously played for an amateur NU side, the only rugby club in their locality. 38 Despite the seeming illogicality of purging players who shared the sporting ideals and social status of its leaders, there was a logic to the mania. The RFU leadership was determined to carry out a scorched earth policy to prevent the possibility of professionalism arising anew in the north.
A Social History of English Rugby Union by Tony Collins