Will you have post-World Cup Blues? Delve into the history of the beautiful game


If the World Cup leaves football fans wanting more, then a free online course jointly run by De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) has the answer in the form of one of the beautiful game’s most unlikely success stories.

The World Cup has captured the hearts and minds of England and the rest of the world in 2018, but in 2016, the global football community celebrated as Leicester City FC completed one of the most remarkable stories in the history of the English club game. City won the Premier League title - despite being written off as relegation candidates at the start of the season when bookmakers made them 5000-1 outsiders - to be crowned champions.


Now, in an updated free online short course called ‘English Football: a Social History', learners can find out all they need to know about the history of the game, Leicester City Football Club’s extraordinary success in the 2015/16 Premier League season, plus new content on the World Cup, from its origins to Russia 2018, updated specially for this year.    

The free online course is delivered by the University of Leicester and DMU, in association with Leicester City Football Club. DMU is the official Higher Education Partner of LCFC.


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The course is available for enrolment now and starts on 16 July – the day after the 2018 FIFA World Cup final - on the FutureLearn social learning platform.

Learners will cover the origins of football, early fandom, politics, the women’s game, and the role of the media in its recent cultural and economic transformation. They will also be able to share their views throughout the course, helping to explore the role football plays in their lives and what the sport really means to them.

In offering this unique opportunity to provide a pertinent, reflective take on the recent global story of football, the course combines the expertise of football academics from the University of Leicester’s Unit for Diversity, Inclusion and Community Engagement (DICE) in the School of Media, Communication and Sociology and the International Centre for Sports and Culture (ICSHC) in the School of Humanities at De Montfort University. It will also draw on the expertise of Leicester City Football Club’s Historian, John Hutchinson, to provide a unique insight into the background of the club and the remarkable 2016 season.

Dr Neil Carter, from the International Centre for Sports History and Culture at De Montfort University, said: “The World Cup attracts a global audience, but English football has undergone a number of key social and economic transformations since the birth of the sport in the late nineteenth century. This course offers an analysis of some of the ways in which the game has changed over time, for players, managers and fans. The formation of the Premier League seemed designed to favour the richer clubs – until Leicester City challenged that view in 2016.”

John Williams, Co-Director of DICE and Associate Professor in the School of Media, Communication and Sociology at the University of Leicester, said: “The course is designed for anyone interested in the history and social impact of football. We cover the history of the World Cup but also draw on our sociologists’ expertise on fan culture, local football and local identity construction through sport, and their views of the new global and commercial landscape of professional football in Europe. We’re also thrilled to be able to glean insights from DMU sport historians, and John Hutchinson, historian and archivist at Leicester City Football Club, who have written widely on the game’s history, including its changing social and cultural status, both in the UK and globally.”

Learners can join the course for free, or can upgrade to receive additional benefits. For more information click here

Posted on Wednesday 11th July 2018

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