Football and National Identity in the UK
International Centre for Sports History and Culture
This is a football conference primarily about the fans.
The first official Scotland England international was held in 1872 at the West of Scotland Cricket Ground in Partick. About 4000 people paid a shilling each to see a 0-0 draw. After that the Scotland England match became a fixture of huge sporting significance in these islands.
In the run up to the Scottish referendum we will examine football as a focus for national identity. How important is football to how people feel about being Scottish or being English? Does it matter more in some countries than others – or, to put it another way, does Alex Salmond need Scottish football fans more than he needs Scottish oil and gas, and does David Cameron need England football fans at all? What about Welsh and Irish football traditions? How do club identities fit into the national picture? And how do we compare with the football nationalisms of other countries?
We have brought together the leading historians of football and national identity to look at these questions.
Contributions from Robert Colls (DMU), Mike Cronin (Boston College, Ireland), David Goldblatt (The Ball is Round), Matt McDowell (Glasgow), Martin Johnes (Swansea), Richard McBrearty (Scottish Football Museum), Kevin Moore (National Football Museum), Dilwyn Porter (DMU) and John Williams (Leicester).
10.00 Coffee and Register
10.30 Introduction and welcome: Robert Colls (DMU)
10.45 The Scotland England match: football and identity on both sides of the border
Richard McBrearty (Scottish Football Museum)
Kevin Moore (National Football Museum)
Chair: Tony Collins (DMU)
12.00 Scottish Football and Popular Culture
Matt McDowell (Glasgow)
Chair: Matt Taylor (DMU)
14.00 Welsh Football and National identity: Martin Johnes (Swansea)
Irish Football: Mike Cronin (Boston College)
English Football: Dil Porter (DMU)
Club Football: John Williams (Leicester)
Other Countries: David Goldblatt (Tottenham Hotspur)
Chair: Robert Colls
17.00 Reflections on the Scotland England ‘match’
Chair: Richard Holt (DMU)
18.00 Closing remarks: Matt Taylor (DMU)
Dinner in town at 20.00