Late to the Game: the origins of amateur soccer in the Bradford district
PUBLISHED MAY, 2019
By Rob Grillo
It took the round ball game an awful long time to come to the West Riding, and to Bradford in particular. When it did finally arrive, it struggled to dislodge Rugby as the dominant sport in the city
This book explains how ‘Socker’ in the West Riding was originally dependent on and then stifled by Rugby and then Northern Union clubs for such things as grounds, resources, and more importantly, finance.
There were several, false starts and failed attempts to establish the sport in Bradford before it experienced an exponential rise at grassroots level around the turn of the 20th Century. This period is covered in detail, along with information on practically every club to have played competitively up to the start of the Second World War, as well as the league and cup competitions they played in. Also featured are hitherto unpublished league tables from many leagues at county and district level.
Also covered are those who made the biggest impact on soccer in its formative years – the players, the teams that brought success to the city – as well as those that didn’t – and the officials who successfully managed to raise the profile in schools and local communities.
The competition with nearby Leeds, both on and off the field, is a theme that runs through the book, as well as the events leading up to the formation, at last, of professional football in Bradford, ahead of Leeds and Huddersfield.
This is an account of the struggle that the round ball game endured in establishing itself beyond minority sport status, and also an attempt to address the issues that the legacy that rugby has left on the game we all know as ‘soccer’.
LATE TO THE GAME is produced in the same format as previous volumes in the History Revisited series with a wealth of archive images. Order online HERE.
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Late to the Game: The origins of association football in Bradford and the story of its pioneering clubs by Rob Grillo (bantamspast 2019)
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LATE TO THE GAME is the sixth volume in the Bantamspast History Revisited series. Between them, the different books provide a definitive record of the origins of sport and professional football in Bradford, its development and historical context through to the modern day. By revisiting the evidence the series debunks the myths and superficial narratives that have been told previously. The five titles each address distinct themes and are all original in their coverage. They provide a unique collection that is indispensable reading for City supporters wanting to better understand the heritage of their club.