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Month: December 2016

The Opening of Manchester’s First Public Baths and Wash-house in 1846

Manchester’s first public baths and wash-house opened on Miller Street in New Cross on the 9th of September 1846. The recently founded “Public Baths and Wash-Houses in Manchester Committee” had raised money, gained significant public support, and political backing in order to accomplish this feat. This is the story of how this happened and it illustrates an important aspect of life in mid-19th century Manchester. Industrial Revolution Manchester had only gained parliamentary representation in 1832, was battling with repeat outbreaks of infectious diseases such as cholera and typhus, and was a city changing faster than anyone could keep up...

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On This Week – 26th December 2016

26th – The boxing world was horrified when Texan Jack Johnson became the first black heavyweight champion of the world in 1908. He was not allowed to fight in his native America because of his colour so he travelled to Sydney, Australia, to challenge the Canadian Tommy burns for the title. The referee stopped the fight in the 14th round after Burns was knocked out for eight seconds. On this day in 1928 Johnny Weissmuller announced his retirement from amateur swimming. Tranmere Rovers and Oldham Athletic took part in the highest scoring game in Football League history at Prenton Park...

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Football Fans Crossing The Borders During WW1

On the eve of The Great War, Danish football was on top of the world. Gold medals in the pre-Olympic games 1906 were followed by silver medals at the Olympics 1908 and 1912, losing out to England in both finals. But in June 1914, the English amateur national team was comprehensively beaten in Copenhagen 3-0. British football was the undisputed yardstick with which success and progress was measured in Danish football. After becoming popular in the 1880’s, football seemed to be losing out to other sports in the 1890’s. But then a big sports exhibition was arranged in Copenhagen...

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Weight training in English Football: An Early Experiment

In May 2016, the BBC featured a story on the science behind Leicester City’s historic premier league victory that season. Somewhat clinically, the article examined how the combination of explosive sprinting, weight training and good old-fashioned fun had coalesced into one of the greatest stories of top-flight English football. While the BBC article took the issue of weight training for granted, history shows that football has been remarkably slow in embracing the weights room. Indeed, trawling through the footballing annals suggests that it wasn’t until the 1950s that football teams truly began to experiment with strength training. Today’s post,...

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On This Week – 19th December 2016

19th – In London on this day in 1924 the last Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost was sold. In 1932 the BBC World Service begins broadcasting as the BBC Empire Service. Born on this day in 1951 was the British mountaineer Alan Rouse, who was the first British climber to reach the summit of the second highest mountain in the world, K2, but died on the descent. In August of 1986 Rouse, who was attempting to climb a more difficult route up the mountain with a British team, eventually teamed up with two of Austrian climbers, Willi Bauer and Alfred Imitzer, reached the summit together...

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