Podcast 221: Strength in Depth – A History of Non-League Football, Part 1
There are two main reasons for this. Firstly, the history of non-league football is like a forest in which it’s easy to get completely lost. Most stories about football are linear in nature, but this one certainly isn’t. Secondly, a lot of you know an awful lot about the non-league game, so there are a lot of people who may be expecting me to trip myself up, here. With that in mind, I’ll apologise in advance for if I’ve missed out anything significant. I don’t think I have, but it’s always possible. Apologies if I’ve glossed over your team’s run to the 1935 County Amateur Senior Trophy Shield, in other words. It’s nothing personal.
This first episode isn’t really about non-league football, either, though. Prior to 1888, there was, depending on how you look at it, either no non-league football because there were no leagues, or only non-league football. But it’s important to retell the story of the codification of the game of football, because it – and in particular those behind it – are a fundamental part of the story of the non-league game in this country. Many attitudes still held today have their roots in this period, and we can learn a lot about ourselves from these voices from the past.
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