Can we have our balls back, please?: how the British invented sport
CAN WE HAVE OUR BALL BACK, PLEASE? is the highly entertaining story of how the British invented sport as we know it today (and then almost forgot how to play it). Long before Drake refused to interrupt his game of bowls when the Armada was sighted, the British have had a passionate relationship with games. Here Julian Norridge explores how those games became major sports like boxing, cricket, horse racing and hockey. Their stories cover the whole of Britain - from Welsh-born inventor and tobacco enthusiast Major Walter Clopton Wingfield coming up with a game involving new-fangled rubber balls (lawn tennis), to an apocryphal English football match using severed Viking head as a ball, to Scottish shepherds inventing golf more than 700 years ago. But this is far more than a book about sport, it also takes a very funny, very British look at our popular history and mythology. Full of tales of hunting parsons, prize-fighting ex-slaves, corrupt princes and cuckolded husbands, this is sporting life in all its eccentricity. It chronicles the constant battle between fair play and gambling; between amateurism and professionalism; and between advances in the dame and plain cheating (such as turning up with a cricket bat wider than the wicket). Can We Have Our Balls Back Please? proves that there is an awful lot to be proud of in our history, it suggest where our strange feeling of superiority really comes from and it shows why we are always disappointed when we lost, but rarely surprised.
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Can We Have Our Balls Back, Please?: How the British Invented Sport
Limited preview - 2008
Can We Have Our Balls Back, Please?: How the British Invented Sport (and ...
No preview available - 2008
Abner Doubleday amateur American archery athletics Australia Badminton Badminton Library ball banned baseball became began billiards Blackheath boat bowler bowling boxing Britain British Broughton called Cambridge Captain challenge champion championship Charles competition court cricket crowd Derek Birley developed Duke early eighteenth century England English engraving event fight Football Association founded four French golf ground Hambledon Club Harry Clasper Henley hockey horse idea invented James Jockey Club John kicking known kolven later lawn tennis Laws of Cricket League London Lord major match miles modern game Newmarket nineteenth century Olympic opponent Oxford played players popular prize prizefighting professional public schools race rackets real tennis rowing Royal rugby league Rugby School rugby union rules sailing score Scottish side snooker soccer South sport started story swimming Thames took place Wales William William Webb Ellis wrote yacht Zealand