Worth a Punt?: An assessment of UK Sports Policy

(An edited version of this article appeared in The Political Quarterly, Vol. 89, Issue 2, 2018) In the course of studying international sports governance Alan Tomlinson and I became convinced that an important variable which must be considered in comparing organisations is the extent to which they are real as opposed to being a form […]

Why I Booed Gaetan Bong

I’m normally rather quiet and subdued at football matches and have rarely booed anyone, but when Brighton came to Turf Moor on the 28th of April I booed one of their fullbacks, Gaetan Bong, because he had reported the Burnley native and former Burnley player Jay Rodriguez for a remark made to him during a […]

You Cannot Be Serious

David Papineau, Knowing the Score, How Sport teaches us about Philosophy (and Philosophy about Sport), Constable, 2017, pp. 328   The sub-title to David Papineau’s book suggests a pair of objectives. They are, of course, open to interpretation. For example, it is eminently clear that the author is not concerning himself with the question of […]

On Sporting Retirement

       My most longstanding friend laughed when I told him I had retired from playing cricket. His socks did not come off, but he spluttered into his beer. I half-expected this reaction as he is seventy one and I am rapidly approaching my seventy first birthday so I half-accepted that the situation was laughable. I […]

There’s a Deathless Myth on the Close Tonight: Re-assessing Rugby’s Place in the History of Sport

By Lincoln Allison and Rusty MacLean* (This article was shortlisted for the 2013 Routledge Prize.) ABSTRACT Rugby School has traditionally been credited with an important place in the development of modern organised games. The most famous names in this attribution have been William Webb Ellis, the pupil who “invented” rugby football, and Dr. Thomas Arnold, […]

In Which an Ancient Wish is Granted (and Analysed)

       Thursday, September first 2011, the county cricket ground at Worcester: a splendid late summer day, the cathedral reassuringly distinguished across the river, the ground pleasantly filled by a couple of thousand people. This is the England which ex-Prime Ministers make speeches about. Many people say it is the most beautiful cricket ground in the […]

Playing with the Devil

       Adolph Hitler’s Third Reich, Leonid Brezhnev’s Soviet Union, General Jorge Rafael Videla’s junta in the Argentine, the People’s Republic of China, Mexico’s notoriously corrupt and immovable Institutional Revolutionary Party and now Vladimir Putin’s Russia: all of these have hosted major international sporting events. The prima facie case against the international organisations which have co-operated […]

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