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The Emergence of Footballing CulturesManchester, 1840-1919$
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Gary James

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781526114471

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.7765/9781526114495

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The earliest club

The earliest club

(p.39) 3 The earliest club
The Emergence of Footballing Cultures

Gary James

Manchester University Press

The growth of football in Manchester saw clubs such as Manchester Football Club, the ‘absolute pioneers’ of rugby in the region, established in 1860, with several other clubs also being founded, mostly in the then wealthier residential areas of the conurbation, such as Broughton, Didsbury, Sale, Whalley Range and Old Trafford. The prominent members of these clubs appear to have been from the upper class or from respected middle-class occupations, and many were former public school boys. The major focus of this chapter is a detailed analysis of Hulme Athenaeum and its development as an association football club. This informs a discussion on the influence of class, public schools and communities on the propagation of the sport. When considering longue durée thinking, it is evident that Hulme Athenaeum’s influence was felt from 1863 through to the establishment of the Manchester County Football Association in the mid-1880s and on to the professional game. Manchester’s first trophy successes came at a time when John Nall, Hulme’s first football secretary in 1863, was still an active member of the conurbation’s footballing community.

Keywords:   Hulme Athenaeum, Association football, John Nall

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