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FA Cup success, football infrastructure and the establishment of Manchester’s footballing identity

James, Gary and Day, Dave (2014) FA Cup success, football infrastructure and the establishment of Manchester’s footballing identity. ISSN 1466-0970

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Abstract

Contemporary Manchester is recognized internationally as a footballing city, with both Manchester United and Manchester City acknowledged as prominent clubs. However, the city has not always been a force in the game, nor has the game always been important across Manchester’s social spectrum. This paper examines how Manchester first became established as a footballing city, identifying that success in the FA Cup in 1904 stimulated interest in the game and considers how the legacy of that victory enabled the game to develop in terms of participation and spectating. It also considers the social mix of attendees at professional games in the city, and closes by concluding that footballing success generated increased interest and was the catalyst for improvement in the infrastructure for both participation and attendance, enabling Manchester’s footballing identity to become established.

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