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Meet the historians

Meet the academic team from DMU’s International Centre for Sports History and Culture which has helped BBC Radio 4 create its landmark series:

Professor Tony Collins

Tony CollinsTony Collins was appointed the Director of the ICSHC in January 2011. He is the author of a trilogy of books on the history of rugby and has also written on the history of sport and alcohol. He is particularly interested in sport, social class and the history of the football codes. T: 0116 257 7315

Professor Richard Holt

Dick HoltRichard Holt previously worked at the University of Leuven (Belgium) and Stirling University before joining the ICSHC in 1996. He has written general histories of both British and French sport and also professional golf. He is currently working on sporting heroes and national identity. He is the author of Sport and the British (OUP). T: 0116 250 6370

Professor Emeritus Tony Mason

Tony MasonTony Mason’s pioneering study of how football became an important part of the popular culture of the English in Association Football and English Society 1863 - 1915 remains the classic work on the subject. He has written extensively on world football and more recently a book on the history of sport and the military.

Professor Matt Taylor

Matt TaylorA social historian with an expertise in the history of football and boxing, Matt’s research focuses on a range of issues relating to the development of sport in Britain, Europe and the wider world. His The Association Game: A History of British Football (2008) is the first general historical study of British football. T: 0116 257 7399 

Professor Dilwyn Porter

Dil PorterProfessor Porter has written widely on sport in twentieth century Britain with an emphasis on amateurism and national identity. He is a former editor of the journal Sport in History. Current research projects include the social and cultural history of amateur football in England. T: 0116 250 6278

Dr Neil Carter

Neil CarterNeil Carter is a Senior Research Fellow in the ICSHC. He is the author of the first academic history of football management and is currently writing an extensive history of the relationship between sport and medicine. Other research interests include sport and learning disability as well as the role of voluntarism in society. T: 0116 207 8316

Dr Jean Williams

Jean WilliamsJean Williams is a Senior Research Fellow. Having written extensively on the history of women’s football, Jean is currently completing A Contemporary History of Women's Sport (Routledge Research, 2012) and Send Her Victorious: A History of British women Olympians (MUP, 2014). T: 0116 250 6304


The academic team lecture on a wide range of sport history courses, both at undergraduate, MA and PhD level. They also organise the annual ‘Historians on Sport’ conference that brings together scholars from all over the globe.

Follow the ICSHC on twitter at: and on Facebook at:


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Sport and the British has been produced by the BBC as part of its programme of events in the run-up to the 2012 London Olympics. The production team at BBC Birmingham comprises Lucy Lunt, Sara Conkey and Garth Brameld.

Clare Balding

Clare Balding talked about life, sport and her new series on BBC Radio 4 at a special event at DMU.

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