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The emergence, development and establishment of association football in Manchester

James, Gary (2015) The emergence, development and establishment of association football in Manchester. Doctoral thesis (PhD), Manchester Metropolitan University.

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Abstract

This thesis provides a commentary on my publications and considers how my research has developed through each phase of my adult life. This is a thesis in support of a PhD by Publication, where the tone and approach aims to appraise my output and consider its contribution and significance, resulting in a more personal account than a traditional PhD allows. It provides an explanation and justification for the publications, positioning them and the period of research within a contemporary context. Within this thesis, I outline the origins of my research and provide a commentary on my writing and research career alongside my personal development. I set my output within the context of the different stages of my career, both in terms of my previous business life and my formal academic engagement, where it should be stressed that each stage has built on the experience I gained during the previous one. My work focuses on the development of football within Manchester and is directly linked to the current state of knowledge and debates within sports history on the origins of football. It adds regional context that informs the wider debate on the game’s origins. The historical publications which this synthesis presents illustrate changing scholarly emphases since my first publication in 1989 while also demonstrating a raising in the quality of football writing and research. My work considers football’s growth, dependencies, successes and failures, providing evidence supporting considerations on every aspect of the sport. The submitted publications demonstrate my increasing focus on academic development through each phase of my working life. If my works in their entirety could be published as one volume, within its pages would be a coherent, all-encompassing tome documenting research that has challenged perceptions of Mancunian football and highlighting a factual account of how the game was established in the region, how it grew, who was influential on its propagation and development, who attended, who played and how rivalries became established.

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