Select Page

Our Authors

Archie Jenkins

After retiring as physical education teacher, he gained his MA in Sports History and Culture from de Montfort University. Various administrative posts include secretary of the Alnwick Shrovetide Football Committee. Recent research includes the C19 Alnwick Gymnastic Games, Pedestrianism in the North East of England and Robert Gibson a Powderhall winner and professional football player. He has published two books, Rainbow Led (2014), athletics in the north east of England 1914-18 and Whipper In (2016), the Northumberland and Durham Paperchase League.

Catherine Hindson

Catherine Hindson is Senior Lecturer in Theatre and Performance Studies at the University of Bristol. She has published widely on Victorian and Edwardian performance; work that includes two monographs, Female Performance Practice on the fin-de-siècle Popular Stages of London and Paris: Experiment and Advertisement (Manchester University Press, 2007) and London’s West End Actresses and the Origins of Celebrity Charity Culture, 1880-1920 (University of Iowa Press, 2016), and numerous chapters and articles. She is currently working on a study of theatre and performance in British Industrial Villages between the late 1880s and the 1930s.

Christian Vivier

Christian Vivier is full Professor (STAPS) at UPFR-Sports Besançon and member of the laboratory C3S "Culture, Sport, Health, Society" (EA 4660) of the University of Bourgogne/Franche-Comté. His research in sports history can be grouped around four main axes: emergence and development of regional body practices, physical and sports education as a teaching discipline, methodological and epistemological reflections on the history of sport, sports and physical education, and finally the historical analysis of physical exercise practices from sports iconography. His current research, in the field of social sciences of sport, aspires from the semiological analysis of the artistic representations of sport (litho-engravers, painters, posters, photographers, cartoonists, etc.), the unveiling of intimate and profound, individual and collective, social and cultural sense of the body movement that animates the adepts of physical exercise in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Claire Robinson

Claire graduated from the University of Birmingham in 2016 with a PhD in cultural and social history. Her thesis investigated Popular Theatre in late Victorian Manchester. She is a Research Associate with the International Sport and Leisure History (SpLeisH) research team at MMU. Her research investigates leisure history and the periodical press in the long nineteenth century. She also presents a weekly music and arts show called The WildCard for aFCUM Radio, an internet radio station belonging to the fan owned football team FC United of Manchester. ​

Conor Heffernan

Conor is currently undertaking a PhD at University College Dublin on Ireland’s physical culture movement from 1898 to 1938 under the supervision of Dr. Paul Rouse. Somewhat eclectically, Conor’s previous studies have discussed the Indian club swinging phenomena in nineteenth-century Victorian England and prior to that, the politicized nature of sport under General Mobutu in Zaire. Email:

Craig Statham

Craig Statham has worked in the heritage industry for almost 20 years, after having graduated from the universities of Edinburgh and St Andrews. He has published five books, the last being a biography of Bruce Springsteen during his early years. He is currently writing a biography of Jimmy Curran, with the help of Curran’s family, friends, and former students. Its working title is Jimmy Curran: From the Graveyard to the Stadio Olimpico. He gives talks throughout Scotland on a variety of topics, and will give his first talk on Jimmy Curran in the coming months. Website:

Dave Day

Dave Day is Professor of Sports History at Manchester Metropolitan University where he leads the International Sports and Leisure History (SpLeisH) research team. He has published extensively on nineteenth- and twentieth-century sport, especially in the areas of coaching, training and the history of swimming families. Dave is particularly interested in the notion of ‘history from below’, the understanding of social and cultural history through the lives of working- and middle-class individuals rather than through grand narratives and the lives of the nation’s elite.

Dejan Zec

Dejan is Serbian historian who specializes in social history, history of everyday life, the processes of modernization in South-eastern Europe in late 19th and first half of the 20th century and the history of Serbian and Yugoslav sport. He had written and published numerous articles and book chapters, both in relevant Serbian and international journals and collections. He is currently finishing his PhD thesis at the University of Belgrade while also working as a Research Associate at the Institute for Recent History of Serbia in Belgrade. He is a founder and chairman of the Centre for Sports Heritage – South East Europe.

Derek Martin

Derek is a qualified lawyer, gaining his LLB at Belfast. He is currently a PhD student with the SpLeisH research group at MMU Cheshire. His studies concentrate on the development of pedestrianism between 1660 and 1914 - on which he has delivered several papers at conferences and to specialist historical societies. Derek has also ventured outside this period to speak on the origins and development of harriers clubs in Yorkshire, and male and female practitioners of multi-day pedestrian events (1800-1914)

Douglas Hope

Doug Hope graduated from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, in 1964 with an Honours degree in geography and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society in 1965. He became a Chartered Town Planner in 1970 and has pursued a career in town and country planning. He has walked and climbed in the English Lake District for over fifty years. In 2008, he gained an MA in Lake District Studies, with distinction, at the University of Lancaster. Since then, he has been researching the activities of the Co-operative Holidays Association (CHA) and Holiday Fellowship in Britain and Europe

Filip Walenta

Filip was born and raised in 1965 in Ghent, the city with the most beautiful architectonic centre in Belgium. Professionally Filip is a weatherman in the Belgian Metoffice and works currently as the senior forecaster-in-chief for the Search and Rescue heli’s in Koksijde. As a young adult Filip was a competitive triathlete for about 5-6 years, regularly finishing in the top ten in sprint and 70.3 races (1/2 ironmans). Later he competed in cycling - both track and cyclo-cross races, in age-group categories. After fifteen years as a committee member he spent three years as president of his cycling club where he rediscovered his second love next to sports, history. As founder of, a project about the founder of the Tour of Flanders, Filip started searching in online databases of old newspapers where he discovered several forgotten cycling races before and during the Great War, like the Tour of Flanders 1916, the Tour of Belgium 1915/1916, the Scheldeprijs 1916/1918 and the very first Ghent Six Day Race of 1915.​

Gary James

Gary James is a lecturer with International Sport and Leisure History at Manchester Metropolitan University. Since the 1980s, he has written extensively on football, with his current research focusing on female participation and interest in the sport. Since the 1990s, he has gathered oral testimony from female directors, administrative staff, ‘tea-ladies’, supporters, players, players’ wives, managers’ wives, media personnel, broadcasters, athletes and others with an interest in the game as players or spectators, and this forms part of a monograph he is producing on female participation and involvement. His latest research article has been on the origins of football and can be downloaded here

Gaz Shaw

Systems and Digital Media Officer and Research Associate at Manchester Metropolitan University. MA Sport History and Culture and BSc (Hons) Web Development alumnus at De Montfort University and Manchester Metropolitan University respectively.

Geoff Swallow

Geoff Swallow lives and works in St Ives, Cornwall. His current PhD research at Manchester Metropolitan University is on discourses of modernity, identity and territory in the circuit of annual swimming matches in Devon and Cornwall,1863-1913. He has also written on early representations of surf bathing and surfing in the cultural construction of place in Cornwall.

Hans Henrik Appel

Hans Henrik Appel is a Danish historian who currently specializes in the history of sport, leisure, entertainment and body culture from the late 19th to the early 20th century. Special studies include subjects such as early Danish football, dancing, circus, wax cabinets and cinemas, nudity and hygiene movements, fan culture, patterns of cultural consumption – and attempts to link as many of these subjects as possible. He obtained his doctor degree in history from University of Copenhagen in 1999, and has worked in several Danish museums, Currently curator at a new museum on Denmark during WW1, Mosede Fort. Special interest in football museums and has worked as a volunteer at the Manchester United museum. He writes the blog “Football and material culture” on British football museums and football grounds. Hans is deputy head of corps of external examiners in History at the universities in Denmark, and an associate of the Sports and Leisure History Research team.

James Copley

James originates from Sunderland but has strong family ties in Wales. He recently completed a degree in History at the University of Swansea and is currently studying towards a Masters in Sports Journalism at the University of Sunderland. James loves the history of sort and the narratives they provide. He is a firm believer that through the lens of sport we can view the subtle nuisances of society.​

Jean Williams

Jean is Professor of Sport at the University of Woverhamption and heritage consultant at JJ Heritiage. Email -

Jean-François Loudcher

Jean-François is a Professor at the University of Bordeaux where he is in charge of the topic of Diversity inside the LACES (Laboratoire Culture, Education, Société) which is a multidisciplinary research department (English Civilization, Educational Sciences and Sport). His research includes the history of Physical Education (PE) in France, body techniques, image analysis, violence, Olympics and sport history (including studies of France, United Kingdom and Switzerland). Since his certification in 2002, he has been investigating sport processes as civilization and cultural phenomenon. He has published 9 books, 31 peer-reviewed papers, 60 chapters of books and 40 professional papers.

Jeremy Lonsdale

Jeremy Lonsdale has been following Yorkshire CCC since the early 1970s and researching its history for many years. His interests are in the social history of how the game developed in the county in the 19th century, and how the county club became a major sporting force in the 20th century. He is currently finalising a biography of the Yorkshire and England professional Tom Emmett, and writing a study on how cricket at levels in Yorkshire carried on during the First World War. His previous cricket book was a biography of the multi-talented Victorian sportsman, Brig-Gen R.M.Poore - entitled 'The Army's Grace: The life of Brigadier-General R.M.Poore (Spellmount, 1992)

Joe Pryle

Joe is a PhD researcher and academic within the School of Sport and Wellbeing at the University of Central Lancashire, Preston. In addition, he is a cricket coach with experience across 20 years, including periods in the USA (Los Angeles) and Australia. His primary research approach is through ethnography, and his MA utilised participant observation to uncover school cricket cultures. His PhD draws on time playing cricket in the USA to conduct ethnography into the field of Californian cricket culture.

John Daniels

John was born in 1943 in South London and spent a large part of his life obsessively collecting football memorabilia, now in his self proclaimed dotage he decided to dispose of his collection as he thought it not be fair to leave such a large quantity of acquisitions for his family to dispose of when the big referee in the sky sent him for an early bath. In more recent years, due to his daughter’s involvement in cricket, John has spent most of his spare time supporting various projects in Bexley promoting cricket for girls. The profits from all 3 books are being donated to support the girls’ cricket projects. John's professional life has been pretty mundane, he thinks - Telegram boy, Post office counter clerk, Cable and Wireless, The Army and various low level communications occupations (remember communications before it became I.T. ??). He has also managed to fit in a small (mainly part time) business dealing in football memorabilia. His books are not, he says, Harry Potter or William Shakespeare but they have done what they set out to do. The first one documented his obsession with collecting before the collection was disposed of. The second one diarised a season following a local non-league football club with terrific photographs by a friend who is an award winning photographer and the third one was back to the collecting theme by illustrating over 200 football postcards that he once owned.

John Dewhirst

John Dewhirst is a self-employed accountant who lives in Shipley. A longstanding Bradford City supporter, he co-launched The City Gent fanzine in 1984 and has been involved in producing a number of books about the history of the club. He is currently working on a history of the Wool City Rivalry between Bradford City and Bradford Park Avenue in the Football League. A former racing cyclist, he holds all the senior time trial records of the East Bradford Cycling Club.

Keith Myerscough

Keith has published work on the social history of British Basketball, 1892-1936, which is a much referenced source; he has also published articles on the sporting lives of Victorian professional swimmers. His current research stems from his doctoral studies on a social history of swimming in Lancashire, 1846-1906, as a commercially organised spectator sport.

Leslie Crang

Leslie is presently completing his Msc Sport Management and the Business of Football at Birkbeck (part-time). Previously he has spoken at Birkbeck Sports Business Centre entitled 1966 and All That : A Cultural & Social Reflection on England’s World Cup Victory as well as organising a symposium in June last year entitled More Than Just A Game: the Legacy of the 1966 Football World Cup. On the 27th of June gave a talk at the SportsBusiness on the 30th anniversary of the Rugby World Cup. He also recently gave a paper at the The British Society of Sport History (BSSH) Annual Conference & Post-Graduate Symposium 2017 on his thesis project ‘CS Lebowski: Punk football in Italy - new paradigm of the old model reinvented?’ Leslie works at Senate House Library, University of London in the collection management team. Email - Twitter - @morethanagame66

Lisa Taylor

Lisa is a first-year PhD student at Manchester Metropolitan University, focusing on competitive women’s rowing in Britain in collaboration with the River & Rowing Museum in Henley-on-Thames. As an undergraduate, she studied English at Cambridge University, before undertaking an MA in Sports Management at London Metropolitan University. Here, her dissertation examined performance pathways for women in rowing, and the use of talent identification as an intervention to improve the performance of the GB women’s rowing team. Prior to starting her PhD, Lisa worked in rowing for six years, including two years with the governing body (British Rowing), and coaching in clubs and schools. Her research interests include sport history, gender history, sport policy and development.

Luke J Harris

Luke J. Harris is an academic researcher who completed his PhD at Canterbury Christ Church University in 2013. His book, ‘Britain and the Olympic Games, 1908-1920’(2015) was published with Palgrave MacMillan and won the International society for Olympic Historians Karl Lennartz Memorial book award for the outstanding book upon the Olympic Games or Movement for 2015. His main research interests are the Olympic Games, nationalism, British identity, Sports Journalism, the development of modern athletics, athletic coaching and development, football and the depictions of sport within the British boys story press during the nineteenth and early twentieth century’s. He is the author of numerous book and journal chapters.

Malcolm Shrifin

28 years a professional librarian—one of a now critically government-endangered species—Malcolm started in a school, eventually becoming Head of the Inner London Education Authority’s innovative Central Library Resources Service. After a Thatcher-induced early retirement in 1985, he discovered the popular Victorian institution of the Turkish bath, and needing guidance in the ways of historians, completed an MA in modern history at Royal Holloway University of London in 1996/7. Malcolm’s book Victorian Turkish Baths (Historic England, 2015; University of Chicago Press, 2016), is the only one on the subject, complementing his website now in its seventeenth year.

Margaret Roberts

Margaret Roberts is a highly experienced and well-respected genealogist, who also works with academics, researchers, PhD students and families both at home and abroad to help uncover many forms of sporting past. Margaret is the Editorial Assistant on Playing Pasts and has recently been curating the Sport and Leisure History Archive at MMU Cheshire. Follow @SportingArchive and @Researchdogbody

Mark Evans

Mark Evans is a retired Police Officer who has an interest in the history of all sports particularly hockey, athletics, swimming and sport in Manchester. Since retirement Mark has became a volunteer with the National Hockey Museum who are based in Woking, Surrey. He has conducted research for them in relation to the history of the English Cup, ladies league hockey and hockey at the Olympics. He is Chair of Radcliffe Swimming and Water Polo Club and still active in a number of sports. He is currently conducting further research into the development of ladies league hockey.

Mark Rowe

Since he left the University of Bristol in 1989 with a first in history, Mark Rowe has worked as a print journalist, apart from 1998 when he worked in Sydney as a dish-washer and then travelled around Australia and New Zealand. His books include one on cricket, The Victory Tests: England v Australia 1945 (2010). He edits the Lives in Cricket series for the Association of Cricket Statisticians.

Martyn Cooke

Prior to joining MMU Martyn spent almost a decade operating in the sports and leisure industry, taking up a variety of coaching, teaching and managing positions. Most notably Martyn spent five years at Port Vale Football Club where he was the lead Sports Development Officer (Social Inclusion) within the Community Trust and acted as a development coach for the Port Vale Academy. He was also from some tine the first team manager of Kidsgrove Athletic Ladies Football Club. Martyn’s research interests include - The development of association football in Staffordshire, the formation of Port Vale Football Club and the participation of Non-Caucasian players in association football. In addition to his research at MMU, Martyn also works as a Support Worker for the Cheshire East Youth Support Service where he is based in Congleton. He is also an active volunteer at the Donna Louise Hospice, where he provides physical activity sessions.

Nick Piercey

Nick studied history at UCL and gained his PhD in Dutch Cultural History in 2011 with a thesis on football in Rotterdam and Amsterdam. He has taught courses on Dutch, Belgian and sporting history and is currently an Honorary Research Associate at UCL. His first book about sport and historiography, entitled ‘Four Histories about early Dutch football, 1910-1920’ was published in October 2016 and is available as a free Open Access download via UCL Press.

Noemi García-Arjona

Noemi García-Arjona is temporary assistant at the Sports Sciences Faculty (STAPS) of the University of Franche-Comté and carries out her research at the "Culture, sport, health and society" laboratory (Laboratoire C3S). She is interesting in the educative and integrative value of sport for ethnic minorities in sport clubs and institutional initiatives of migration contexts from a political point of view. As well she has worked on the historical perspective of Spanish and French comic publications and its relation with sport, leisure and the transmission of cultural patterns and values to young readers.

Paul Newsham

Paul Newsham is a lecturer at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland. His research interests include the history of sporting song, fan culture and Polish - British sporting relations.

Phil Brennan

Robert J. Lake

Robert J. Lake is an Instructor in the Department of Sport Science at Douglas College, Canada. His main research interests are in tennis, around historically-rooted social issues related to: social class, exclusion and behavioural etiquette; gender and sexuality; race, nationalism and English/British national identity; and, coaching, talent development and policy. He authored A Social History of Tennis in Britain, which won the 2015 Lord Aberdare Literary Prize awarded by the British Society of Sports History, and has written over a dozen articles in the leading journals in sport history and sociology, including: Journal of Sport History, Sport in History, International Journal of the History of Sport, International Review for the Sociology of Sport, and Sport in Society.

Sébastien Laffage-Cosnier

Sébastien Laffage-Cosnier is Lecturer at the University of Franche-Comté. He carries out his research in the "Culture, sport, health and society" research laboratory (Laboratoire C3S) around three main themes. First, he works on visual history in sport and social sciences. He explores the links between bodily practices and their artistic representations (posters, photographs, postcards, etc.). He also studies children's culture (comics, toys, cartoons, etc.) to understand how, depending on the periods, youth has been sensitized to sport. Finally, he is interested in the history of physical education, in particular the mechanisms for the creation and the dissemination of school innovations.

Simon Eaves

Dr Simon J. Eaves is a senior lecturer in sports coaching and performance analysis at Manchester Metropolitan University. He has been actively researching the history of lawn tennis for the past decade, and has recently had accepted for publication several articles relating to early working-class tennis professional players; the Lawn Tennis Reform Committee (LTRC); and the internationalisation of lawn tennis. He is currently working on the emergence of lawn tennis coaches, the origins of the Davis Cup, and a biography of 19th century lawn tennis player, and internationalist, Dr Wilberforce Vaughan Eaves.

Stijn Knuts

Stijn Knuts studied cultural and global history at the KU Leuven (Belgium). Working as a research and teaching assistant at the KU Leuven’s Policy in Sports & Physical Activity Research Group, he obtained his PhD in kinesiology in 2014 with a dissertation on the social and cultural history of cycling in Belgium before the Second World War. He has published extensively on labour relations, transnational dynamics and national identity formation in Belgian sports and especially cycling in international scientific journals such as History Workshop Journal and the European Review of History. Between 2014 and 2016, he worked as a fellow at Ghent University’s Centre for Local Politics, where he wrote a book on the history of the Christian labour movement in the Ghent area. Currently, he is a research fellow at the KU Leuven’s Policy in Sports & Physical Activity Research Group.

Sylvia Kölling

Sylvia Kölling is a research associate with the SpLeisH team at MMU Cheshire and her research interests include local and regional municipal history of Great Manchester, the history of sanitary reform in Britain and Victorian Britain. Sylvia’s current research concerns the history of baths and wash-houses in Manchester.

Vicki Valosik

Vicki Valosik is a writer based in Washington, DC. She is working on a book on the development of synchronized swimming, a sport with a much deeper story than meets the eye. Her writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Smithsonian Magazine, Slate, US News & World Report, Huffington Post, Washington Post Magazine, and American Scholar, among others. You can find her at and on Twitter @VValosik

Wray Vamplew

Currently Wray is a Visiting Research Professor attached to the SpLeisH research group at MMU Cheshire and the General Editor for the Bloomsbury Cultural History of Sport as well as the Special Projects Editor for the International Journal of the History of Sport. Among his previous posts are Professor of Sport History at the University of Stirling.and Director of the International Centre of Sports History and Culture at De Montfort University. Wray's specialist interests are the quantitative and economic History of Sport.

Recent Tweets