THE ARMY GAME
125 Years of the Army Football Association 1888 to 2013
By Jack Rollin
paperback of 134 pages, illustrated
The Army Game traces the origins of football itself and reveals the influence the
Army had in its development. It played a supporting role in the foundation of
the Football Association in 1863 and then through the successes of the Royal
Engineers in the FA Cup ten years later. Army personnel figured prominently in
the early international matches. The momentum increased with the formation of
the Army FA in 1888 and the inauguration of the still-flourishing Army Challenge
Cup. That year coincided with the formation of the Football League, making the
two competitions the joint second-oldest nationwide.
Royalty as Patrons regularly attended
important matches including the start of the Inter-Service tournament, firstly
against the Royal Navy and then with the addition of the Royal Air Force.
Wherever the Army served, football was not far behind. In the Great War, many
professional footballers were among the casualties and won decorations.
The inter-war years saw the Army
expand its football despite a reduction in numbers. The start of the Kentish Cup
against its wartime Allies was another competition carrying on the tradition. In
the Second World War, HM Government insisted the game would continue and many
outstanding international players in the service appeared in fund-raising
matches. Once again the Royal family was visibly supportive. Footballers again
fought in all war zones and suffered along with their comrades. Immediately
after the war, the introduction of National Service brought many outstanding
young Football League players into uniform.
In the last 25 years there have been many
tours abroad and a continual implementation of new competitions. These have
extended at different levels for representative teams, including those for
women’s football as well as youth and Under-23. Courses for referees and
coaching have further expanded the Army's football structure and authority.
Despite ever-present operational commitments imposed on a shrinking Army, there
continues to be growth in its sporting stature and this is reflected in The
Jack Rollin is the former editor of Soccer
Star and the Rothmans/Sky Sports Yearbook. This is the fourth title of his that
Tony has been pleased to publish.
book is a mid-sized sized paperback book of 134 pages with b/w illustrations and
full-colour cover. The price is £14.00. Copies are available from sports
booksellers and by post from Tony. If
ordering by post, please send a cheque or postal order for £16.00 (which
includes £2 for UK postage and packing), payable to Tony Brown, to 4 Adrian
Close, Toton, Nottingham NG9 6FL.
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