The Game of Our Lives: The Meaning and Making of English Football | David Goldblatt

A seminar as part of the Birkbeck Sport Business Centre Public Seminar Series

Roberts Building, University College London (UCL)UCL-Roberts-Small
Room G08 Sir David Davies Lecture Theatre
Torrington Place
London WC1E 7JE

Monday 9th February 2015 at 6pm

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In the last two decades football in Britain has made the transition from a dying and stigmatised sport to the very centre of our popular culture, from an economic basket-case to a booming entertainment industry. Certainly, no social phenomenon tracks the momentous economic, social and political changes of the post-Thatcherite era in a more illuminating manner than football. No cultural practice sheds more light on the aspirations and attitudes of our long boom and now calamitous bust.  From economics to governance, from civic identity to the politics of ethnicity and gender, football has become a public theatre, soap opera and spectacular that informs all of these areas.

In this presentation, the author, writer and social commentator David Goldblatt, drawing on his acclaimed new book Game of Our Lives: The Making and the Meaning of English Football, addresses a fundamental question in modern popular culture: what does it mean when football becomes so central to our private and political lives?

Goldblatt book

David  offers an explanation of football growth and development and explores the paradox of a still social democratic game in a neo-liberal world.


David Goldblatt is the author of The Ball Is Round: A Global History of Football (Penguin, 2007), the definitive historical account of the world’s game, and of Futebol Nation (Penguin, 2014), a highly acclaimed footballing history of Brazil. For a number of years he wrote a sports column in Prospect magazine and has made a number of documentaries for BBC Radio 4 and for the World Service, including ones on football in Jerusalem and the politics of the game in Kenya. He is currently writing for The GuardianThe Observer and The New York Times.

He has also taught the sociology of sport at the University of Bristol, at De Montfort University, Leicester, and at Pitzer College, Los Angeles. He lives in Bristol.

Contact Details

Visit David’s website at

Follow David on twitter @davidsgoldblatt

For further details on this seminar series contact:

Sean Hamil

Department of Management
Birkbeck College
Malet Street

Tel: 020-7631 6763

Twitter: @Birkbecksport

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