Joe Hall is a PhD candidate at the International Centre for Sports History and Culture at De Montfort University. His doctoral project, An Oral History of England International Rugby Union Players, 1945-1995, is supervised by the historian Professor Tony Collins and is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council in conjunction with the Rugby Football Union’s World Rugby Museum.
The post-Second World War period saw rugby union – originally the game of well-to-do schoolboys – grow into a modern, global sport; a growth which occurred, until 1995, in spite of the sport’s amateur status. By recording former England internationals from the period, Joe’s work will use oral history, for the first time, to shine new light on the experiences of rugby’s elite amateur players. He seeks, through this and through accompanying research, to provide a new window on the social history of Britain in the rapidly changing post-war era. Through the prism of sport, his work will explore such themes as class, amateurism, education and masculinity. He also seeks to create a significant archive of recorded interviews, to be available for use in future research.
Joe gained a BA (Hons) in Modern History at the University of Oxford. He worked in advertising for a number of years before returning to academia to study for his PhD at De Montfort. He is a native of the West Midlands; an avid rugby, football and cricket fan; and he currently lives in Brixton, London.