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.

Conor Heffernan

Conor is Assistant Professor at the University of Texas at Austin, in the Department of Kinesiology and Health Education. He completed his PhD at University College Dublin under the supervision of Dr. Paul Rouse. His research interest lies in nineteenth and early twentieth century physical culture as found in Ireland and Great Britain. 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.

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. Dave is currently working on two books related to the historical transmission of coaching knowledge in Europe and between UK and North America.

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.

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, and gained a PhD in Cultural History from the University of Lancaster in 2015 for this research. He has had several articles published on different aspects of his research and his biography of TA Leonard appears in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. His book on TA Leonard: “Thomas Arthur Leonard and the Co-operative Holiday Association” - Joy in the widest community spread was published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing. The book not only tells the story of Leonard, a congregational minister, but also of the history of the Holiday Association - which was instrumental in the establishment of the Youth Hostels Association in 1930 and the formation of the Ramblers Association some five years later.

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 MA dissertation was on early representations of surf bathing and surfing in the cultural construction of Cornwall. He is currently working on a part-time PhD at MMU on discourses of modernity, territory and identity on the West of England circuit of annual swimming matches between 1863 and 1913. His other research interests include the social and cultural history of sea bathing, surfing and water polo.

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. He has a 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.

Jean Williams

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

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. John's log is at www.johndewhirst.blog with links to his features published online on other sites.

Keith Myerscough

Keith is an independent scholar and Research Associate Member with SpLiesH at MMU. His research interests focus on commercial swimming in Victorian Lancashire, and the development of basketball in the USA and UK.

Lisa Taylor

Lisa completed an AHRC-funded Collaborative Doctoral Partnership PhD between Manchester Metropolitan University and the River & Rowing Museum, Henley-on-Thames in 2020. Using a combination of archival research and oral histories with former international athletes, her thesis traces a narrative course through British women’s experiences of international rowing in the second half of the twentieth century. She has published on the development of women’s rowing in Britain from the late nineteenth century, but is primarily interested in the sport as a context in which to explore post-war social, cultural and gender history. An experienced oral historian, she is also interested in the dynamics of oral history encounters and how these influence the writing and understanding of history.

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.

Margaret Roberts

Margaret 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 Editor-in-Chief of Playing Pasts and has curated the Sport and Leisure History Archive at MMU Cheshire. Margaret is also currently employed as a Research Assistant for Prof Dave Day with a particular emphasis on developing the Playing Pasts "Focus on Fodens" project Follow her on twitter - @Researchdogbody

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

Martyn is a Postgraduate Teaching Assistant (PTA) and part-time PhD student at the Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) where he is affiliated with the Department of Exercise and Sport Science. His current research is examining the development of association football in Britain during the nineteenth century with a particular focus on the emergence of the game in North Staffordshire and ‘The Potteries’. He has published several academic papers, most notably in Soccer and Society and Sport in History, has presented his work at a variety of conferences in Britain, North America and Europe whilst his PhD set to be submitted in September 2021. Prior to starting his career in academia Martyn spent a decade operating in the sport and leisure industry where he held coaching, sport development and managerial positions at a variety of sports clubs and organisations

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.

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.

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 researcher with links to 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.

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.