DMU academics help Leicester City finish top of the league for best football programme

A unique partnership between Leicester City and De Montfort University (DMU) has helped the club finish top of the league when it comes to the best football programmes in England.

Since the 2013/14 season, academics and alumni from DMU’s International Centre for Sports History and Culture (ICSHC) have written articles for City’s ‘Matchday Magazine’, about incredible game-changers who have contributed to football’s rich culture.

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Those contributions have played their part in the Leicester City Matchday Magazine being named the overall ‘Programme of the Year’ and the ‘Premier League Programme of the Year’ for 2018/19 in the prestigious Soccer Club Swap Shop league table.

The City Matchday Magazine was also ranked fourth overall in the Premier Programmes league table, which singled out the heritage section that DMU academics write for.

It said the magazine ‘provides a level of detail rarely seen in match day programmes and has been put together by contributors with a clear passion for the club and its historic role within the local community’.

The citation adds: “It [Matchday Magazine] provides some of the best original content in any programme in the division.”

John Hutchinson, Leicester City Club Historian and Archivist, said: “What we are doing is unique in that there is no other programme in the country that has a contribution from its university’s academics.

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“The contribution the university makes adds great texture to the quality of the magazine and plays a very important part.

“The DMU academics and alumni write about the game changers nationally and internationally and that gives a nice balance to the magazine.

 “We have been working together for six full seasons and we fully intend to continue next season.”

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At the beginning of the partnership Dr Neil Carter (Senior Research Fellow at the ICSHC) contributed the articles and for the last two seasons Professor Matt Taylor has written articles and had other academics and alumni contribute too.

Andrew Dawes, who was awarded a PhD by DMU for research at the ICSHC, has contributed two articles to City’s Matchday Magazine.

He said: “I am not surprised that Leicester City came top of the league. So many programmes are purely a PR tool for the club but I think that Leicester City respects the fans and their appreciation of football.

“It is great seeing my work published in a prestigious programme with such a wide reach.

“I am a Cardiff City fan so a particular highlight for me was writing a piece about John Charles (legendary Welsh international striker for Leeds, Juventus and Cardiff in the 50s and 60s) for the Leicester v Cardiff City programme.”

Matt Taylor, Professor of History at the ICSHC, said: “This is a unique teaming up of the football club and the university. There is not another partnership like it in England.

“LCFC are very serious about the importance of the heritage and history of the club and we are proud to work closely with John. We believe it is important to understand the history of football because otherwise we cannot appreciate how football works today.”
Posted on Wednesday 22nd May 2019

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