Organisation and competition
in The emergence of footballing cultures
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Across the Manchester conurbation discussions were occurring during the early 1880s on how the city’s soccer playing community could strengthen. This chapter discusses how the growing network of clubs, players and enthusiasts established a regional structure. It focuses on the development of the Manchester County Football Association and the establishment of local competitions, following the aborted attempt to establish a Manchester–Staffordshire Football Association in 1876. The development of a regional football association aided the growth of soccer in Manchester but by 1894 it was still claimed that rugby football was more popular among the working classes of the city than any other sport. Association football was still some way off becoming Manchester’s leading team activity across the population, even though it had developed at pace between 1878 and 1892.

The emergence of footballing cultures

Manchester, 1840–1919

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