Friday, May 21, 2010

You learn a new thing every day

This is todays:

(in the late 19th century) many cities also lacked any infrastructure for leisure. Haphazard sporting pursuits that had been part of the fabric of many towns and villages for centuries began to be organised into proper sporting institutions with clear rules, organised leagues and a desire to divert young minds from drink, sex and destruction. The vicars, priests and ministers who helped pioneer these new sporting diversions were deeply averse to the idea of sport on Sunday. They also had a very distinct temperance agenda. With the advent of the 5½-day week, Saturday afternoon drunkenness was becoming a problem. The 3pm kick-off was partly a result of the desire of church leaders to keep men from spending an afternoon drinking their wages away.

Read the rest of 'Aston Villa and the Mission of God' , on the origins of the football league, and its connection with the local church. Yes I know the season's over. Back to the cricket....


  1. What a pity they forgot their roots and now worship Mamon!

  2. 3pm kick-off's a nightmare in winter, without floodlights. It's dark by half-time. Are we sure about this?
    Part of the growth of the Football League, for example, must have been down to the Railways as much as anything else. Although I know the temptation for the clergy to go around stamping out anything that looked like fun was very strong back then.

  3. G - I don't think rampant alcoholism was much fun either. Perhaps they were enlightened back then and had a mid-season break, like the Scots still do