Casual Acquaintances

There has been high excitement in parts of south-west London and Surrey this week, with the announcement of ticket details for the Corinthian-Casuals’ 125th anniversary match against AFC Wimbledon at Wembley on April 13th. The Casuals occupy a unique place in the history of English football, and it is no overstatement to say that their influence as a club has been global. As a completely amateur club, they remain something as an anachronism in the money-obsessed world of the modern game, and their continuing existence has occasionally been a struggle with the forces of modernism. In the wider world, they are probably most famous for their distinctive chocolate & pink shirts, and for the missionary zeal with which they took the game across the world. The club is a merger of two clubs – Corinthians and Casuals came together in 1939. Corinthians, as their name gives away with its allusions to classical Greek, they were a “gentleman club”, strictly amateur and founded in 1882, at least in part because the FA were having a problem with the England team being able to beat Scotland in their annual friendly match. The 1880s would be the decade in which professionalism started to take hold in England, culminating in the formation of the Football League in 1888. Such was their dedication to the amateur cause that they refused initially to join the...

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