I’m actually a mathematician and not a ‘historian’ by trade, so, coming at football history from a different angle, one danger with something like this topic is that it can be a bit of a dry subject. That wasn’t the case with your book though which I found interesting throughout, with a real knack for picking out quirky stories that means there is something to appeal to any football fan, and not just a select number of history geeks! Around the Sheffield FC parts there was obviously a large amount I already knew about but it is so well written I enjoyed seeing that history through a different lens and didn’t skip a word! On top of that there is new research which I would say means the club has a better understanding of its own history and place in the development of the game as a result of your book.
Andy Dixon Sheffield F.C.Historian
Martin Westby’s dedicated research is a gift to all football history enthusiasts. Whilst providing a comprehensive history into the genesis of football and the importance of both Sheffield FC and Hallam FC it is the extra work that has gone into the smaller, defunct or forgotten clubs that tells the story of how engrained football was in Sheffield. Whereas some historians have shown reluctance to fully unpick the history of these clubs in a ‘ History of Sheffield Football’ Martin does so and thus acknowledges their importance in developing a city whose place in football history cannot be ignored. This well written and comprehensively researched book will become one of the must read books for all researching football’s true origins. Clive Nicholson (Co-author of Flying Over an Olive Grove: The Remarkable Story of Fred Spiksley)
The book is obviously a labour of love and Martin Westby deserves congratulations on producing it in a nice edition. It’s well printed and bound and has a number of good illustrations and maps. I heartily recommend it. Flashing Blade Fanzine No. 161 October 2017. 4 Cross Myrtle Road, Sheffield, S2 3EL
‘Martin’s new book feels like a complete life’s work and is brilliantly researched. Once I started reading I couldn’t put it down -A a wonderful book’. Steve Basford (Chairman of Hallam Football Club)
In 1857 Sheffield FC was the first football club in the world. Six years later there were 33 and 11 of them came from Sheffield.The prehistory of the football in Sheffield formed for Martin Westby’s source of inspiration to write a book: ‘A History of Sheffield Football 1857-1899’.Sheffield celebrates this Years of jubilee tricks: 160 years,Sheffield FC, 150 years Sheffield Wednesday, 150 years Youdan Cup (oldest cup tournament according to knock-out system), 150 years Sheffield Football Association.
Panenka Football Magazine (Holland) http://www.panenka-magazine.com/
‘It looks amazing – can’t wait to get reading. If you love football and don’t own this – WHY?’
A superb effort. I look forward to reading it thoroughly. Roy France
‘An excellent book which provides both a good narrative history of the period and also serves as an encyclopaedic reference tool’. Michael Hudson.
‘Best of luck with book launch, I thoroughly enjoyed the book, great research and very interesting especially for local footy fans’. Ray King.