The 2023 annual International Football History Conference took place at Hampden Park, Glasgow, over the weekend of 30 June and 1 July 2023, supported by the Scottish Football Association, Scottish Football Museum & Routledge. A fantastic collection of papers were presented with contributions from leading academics from across the globe including many leaders in their field, as well as early career researchers and others with a passion for football (of all codes) research.

The conference organisers were Richard McBrearty of the Scottish Football Museum and University of Stirling and Dr. Gary James, the founder of the Conference and an Honorary Research Fellow at De Montfort University. Dr. James has published over twenty books on the history of football, mostly focusing on Manchester’s clubs. These have included The Emergence of Footballing Cultures: Manchester 1840-1919, Manchester City Women: An Oral History and Manchester: A Football History.

On the eve of the Conference delegates were treated to a walking tour of Football’s Square Mile and the Story of the Lost Hampden; Why Cricket and Football are intertwined at the dawn of association football; and the associated UNESCO World Heritage Campaign etc.

After a welcome by Ian Maxwell, CEO of the Scottish FA, presentations were made across the weekend on a wide range of topics as detailed below.

Scottish football historian Andy Mitchell, speaking to the Scotsman newspaper commented “There’s a marvellous cross section [of delegates]. Some are academics, some are amateur historians like myself. Others just have a special interest in one particular topic. What makes it interesting for me is that it is so esoteric. It is not just going over the history of well-known clubs and countries and tournaments. It is going into detail about all sorts of obscure subjects you would not normally hear about. It opens your eyes to the wealth of football history out there. The focus is not solely on association football. Other codes, including Australian rules football and American football, also feature. They are all from the same roots”

2023 Papers

  • Karen Fraser, Fiona Skillen, Julie McNeill led a Panel discussion entitled “Pioneers and Poets”.
    The role of workplace teams in the development of women’s football in Scotland from 1914 to the end of the century.
  • Paul McFarlane: An examination of the Toronto Scottish Football Club (TSFC) as a repository of diasporic meaning in the ‘British city’ of Toronto between 1888 and c.1912.
  • Jan Luitzen: In fits and starts: The intriguing first decade of Hague club (cricket and) football, 1878-1891
  • Tom McCabe: The Dear Old Mug: A Quest for America’s Oldest Soccer Trophy
  • Roy Thomson: Lincoln City: The Despair of Relegation and the Joy of Promotion. Emotion and Identity in Lower league Football, 1987-1988.
  • Walter Hunt: The 1953 FA Cup: The Matthews final or the Mortensen final?
  • Mike McGuinness: The Munich Air Disaster and British teams at the 1958 World Cup in Sweden
  • Ashley Hickson-Lovence: Your Show: Black British masculinity on and off the football field
  • David Forrest: Forgotten icons: Evaluating the visual and cultural impact of standardising the goal net at the FIFA 1982 World Cup finals in Spain.
  • Chris Bolsmann: Football, gender, and representation in the South African press
  • Kasey Symons, Lee McGowan, Yoko Kanemasu: Women’s Football in Oceania: The complications and conflicts of western approaches to writing women back into history
  • Raf Nicholson: Stronger Together? The Legacies of the 1993 Merger of the Football Association and the Women’s Football Association
  • Stuart Gibbs: Early Women’s Football, Strife, differing attitudes, and fledgling fan culture.
  • Paul Murtagh, Phil Richardson & Kieran Manchip: Playing the Past: Football Archaeology in Scotland and its social benefits
  • Dil Porter: Match-fixing and Harold Brighouse: The stage, the silent cinema and English football’s problematic public image in the early 1920s
  • John Wilson (& Martin Westby): A Methodological Approach for Identifying the Earliest Football Clubs
  • Richard Haynes: Fae Raploch to Elland Road: A Community Remembers Billy Bremner
  • David Allan: Overcoming ‘Recency Bias’ Or How do we rate and rank pre–WWII International players?
  • Michael Gallagher: From Parkhead to the Poorhouse: early professional footballers in poor relief records
  • Robin Ireland: Key stages in the commercialisation of football in England
  • Michael Connolly: Celtic FC and the Professionalisation of Scottish Football
  • Victoria Knowles: The ‘politics’ of English football: racism, activism, and the media
  • Russ Crawford: Women’s American Football in the UK
  • Katie Taylor: “The first woman football coach…”: A Media Study of Female American Football Coaches, 1888-1946.
  • Helge Faller: Mastering Both Codes: The strong ties between women’s football and women’s rugby in France during the interwar years
  • Phil Martin: Dr. Tinsley Lindley OBE, DDL, MA (Cantab) (1865-1940)
  • Andrew Groves & Danielle Sprecher: The repositioning of the football jersey from the pitch to the runway
  • Gayle Rogers: Drawing history in real time
  • Sam Ellis: Straight off the (en)training ground: how football chants succeed
  • Mark Orton: ‘People said we played well’: La Máquina
  • Mike Cronin & Dr Kevin Tallec Marston: The “invention” of football in the United States
  • Conor Murray: The Irish experience of football spectator violence, 1921-1990
  • Leanne Blaney: “Flying Footballers”
  • Jake Madgwick Lawton: The evolution of the preseason tour, from pioneers to the Premier League: a case study of Everton Football Club.
  • Frank Rafters: Far Across the Sea: Celtic Football Club’s First Tour of North America
  • Dave Kemp & Ian McArthur: Spheres of influence: placing the humble football firmly on the centre spot