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December 2017: A West Country Christmas – Dorset in December

Thomas Hardy’s celebration of Christmas in Dorset in his early novel Under the Greenwood Tree is perhaps second only to A Christmas Carol (a version ...More
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British Football

English Football League: Premier League | The Championship | First Division | Second Division | Bell's Scottish League: Premier League | First Division | Second Division | Division Three | The History of Football | Amateur Football

"Football. It's not a matter of life and death. It's more important than that," as Bill Shankly said. The game - as is the case with so many other sports - was of course invented in this country, developing out of the 'rough football' games that were little more than a brawl with rules and the possibility of scoring - and which still exist in some parts of the country like Ashbourne in Derbyshire or Haxey in Lincolnshire.

There is even a surviving gentlemanly version, the Eton Wall Game, which gives a clue as to the public school origins of the modern game. It was old boys' teams and the universities who developed football, though the oldest team in the world - Sheffield FC - actually sprang from a cricket club. The FA was formed in 1863, enabling the rules to be set - some games until then allowed carrying the ball, and the deliberate kicking of shins. With a common set of rules competition flourished, and in 1871 the FA Cup was born, the first international match - England v Scotland - the following year.

Football has become a huge part of our national story - national events like the White Horse cup final, England winning the world cup in 1966, and Celtic winning the European cup in 1967 engraved on our brains. But for most of us our allegiance is local, almost tribal, to the club nearest where we were born, or to which we have some other geographic or family connection. And that club becomes part of our family, its triumphs celebrated, failures and relegations mourned.

English Football League

The History of Football

Premier League
Arsenal Football Club | Aston Villa Football Club | Chelsea Football Club | Everton Football Club | Fulham Football Club | Liverpool Football Club | Manchester City Football Club | Manchester United Football Club | Newcastle United Football Club | Norwich City Football Club | Queens Park Rangers Football Club | Reading Football Club | Southampton Football Club | Stoke City Football Club | Sunderland Football Club | Swansea City Football Club | Tottenham Hotspur Football Club | West Bromwich Albion Football Club | West Ham United Football Club | Wigan Athletic Football Club | Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club |
The Championship
Barnsley Football Club | Birmingham City Football Club | Blackburn Rovers Football Club | Blackpool Football Club | Bolton Wanderers Football Club | Bristol City Football Club | Burnley Football Club | Cardiff City | Charlton Athletic Football Club | Crystal Palace Football Club | Derby County | Hull City Football Club | Ipswich Town Football Club | Leeds United Football Club | Leicester City Football Club | Middlesbrough Football Club | Millwall Football Club | Nottingham Forest Football Club | Preston North End Football Club | Scunthorpe United Football Club | Sheffield United Football Club | Sheffield Wednesday Football Club | Watford Football Club |
First Division
Bournemouth Association Football Club | Brentford Football Club | Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club | Bristol Rovers Football Club | Carlisle United Football United | Colchester United | Coventry City Football Club | Crawley Town | Dagenham & Redbridge | Doncaster Rovers | Exeter City Football Club | Hartlepool United Football Club | Huddersfield Town Football Club | Leyton Orient Football Club | MK Dons Football Club | Notts County Football Club | Oldham Athletic Football Club | Peterborough United | Plymouth Argyle Football Club | Portsmouth Football Club | Shrewsbury Town Football Club | Swindon Town Football Club | Tranmere Rovers Football Club | Walsall Football Club | Yeovil Town FC |
Second Division
Accrington Stanley | Aldershot Town | Barnet FC | Bradford City Football Club | Bury Football Club | Cheltenham Football Club | Chesterfield Football Club | Crewe Alexandra | Gillingham Football Club | Lincoln City Football Club | Morecambe | Northampton Town Football Club | Oxford United Football Club | Port Vale Football Club | Rochdale Football Club | Rotherham United Football Club | Southend United Football Club | Stockport County Football Club | Wrexham Football Club | Wycombe Wanderers Football Club |

Bell's Scottish League

Premier League
Aberdeen Football Club | Celtic Football Club | Dundee United Football Club | Glasgow Rangers Football Club | Hamilton Academical Football Club | Heart of Midlothian Football Club | Hibernian Football Club | Inverness Caledonian Thistle Football Club | Kilmarnock Football Club | Motherwell Football Club | St. Johnstone Football Club | St. Mirren Football Club |

First Division
Dundee Football Club | Dunfermline Athletic Football Club | Falkirk Football Club | Greenock Morton Football Club | Partick Thistle Football Club | Queen of the South Football Club | Raith Rovers Football Club | Ross County Football Club | Stirling Albion Football Club |
Second Division
Airdrie United Football Club | Alloa Athletic Football Club | Ayr United Football Club | Brechin City Football Club | Cowdenbeath Football Club | Dumbarton Football Club | East Fife Football Club | Forfar Athletic Football Club | Peterhead Football Club | Stenhousemuir Football Club |
Division Three
Albion Rovers Football Club | Annan Athletic Football Club | Arbroath Football Club | Berwick Rangers Football Club | Clyde Football Club | East Stirlingshire Football Club | Elgin City Football Club | Livingston Football Club | Montrose Football Club | Queen's Park Football Club | Stranraer Football Club |

Recommended Books:

A Picture of Britain
A Picture of Britain
Ashes Fever
Ashes Fever
Coast
Coast
Churchill
Churchill

Brit Quote:
I spent a lot of money on booze, birds and fast cars. The rest I just squandered. - George Best
More Quotes

On this day:
Welsh Independence Dies with Llywelyn - 1282, James II Abdicates - 1688, End of the IRA Balcombe Street siege - 1975, Buncefield Oil Blaze - 2005
More dates from British history

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