This blog is about football. But in it you will not find the names of the great players, you will not read detailed accounts of famous Cup-winning performances or gallant victories against the odds. You will not find detailed charts of comparative League positions. For this blog is about something else. It is about the history of clubs. Not the records of games won, drawn and lost. There are many of books already straining the shelves of fans throughout the country.
This blog looks at the historical soul of each and every club that has played in the Football League since the post-war period. The soul, the spirit, the psyche, the ka. It examines the essence of the clubs, represented by their badges, by their colours and by their nicknames.
For these are the things that identify the club to their supporters. Players come and go, managers resign or are sacked, new multi-million pound stadia are built. But the essence of the club lives on in the hearts of their fans. There is an intangible “something” about each and every club that derives from its history, its location, its founders, and the people who watch it week-in week-out. And this “something” is different for each club, even for clubs that play only miles, sometimes merely hundreds of yards, apart.
It has not been an easy task. History is full of clouds, and present-day commercialism, unfortunately, renders many present clubs unable (or unwilling) to allow use, even in a reference work like this, of their new-found corporate logos and paraphernalia.
But the “something” that all clubs have predates this commercial age. Corporate logos may now be designed by a graphic designer on a Mac using Illustrator rather than by an heraldic artist with pen and ink, shirt designs may be more suited to the catwalk than the field of dreams, nicknames may be devised in competitions to suit sponsors rather than the fans.
But if you are reading this in 2050, I’ll bet that there is still a successful team called Liverpool wearing predominantly red, a London team Tottenham Hotspur with a cockerel in their 3D-hologram logo, and despite innumerable changes in fashion West Bromwich Albion will still be “The Baggies”.
This blog aims to preserve for posterity some of the reasons behind these things before it’s too late. It aims to be entertaining. I hope you take the time to read, not just about your own team, or even about your deadliest rivals, but throughout the wide spectrum that is the game we all love. Whether this is a football blog with a socio-historical twist, or a social history blog with a footballing twist, we leave it up to you to decide. Whichever – enjoy!