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    The coaching business: nineteenth century Manchester sporting entrepreneurs

    Oldfield, Samantha-Jayne and Day, Dave (2010) The coaching business: nineteenth century Manchester sporting entrepreneurs. [Conference or Workshop Item] (Unpublished)


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    Historically, sport and the public house have been closely linked and from its emergence in the sixteenth century to the pub culture of today, the association of sporting events with this environment has persisted. During the nineteenth century, as the countryside became developed, public houses provided an environment where traditional pastimes such as sport, drinking and gambling could be enjoyed. The more entrepreneurial publicans provided extensive sporting programmes to entice customers, developing enclosed sporting arenas within their grounds and encouraging behaviour which the newly empowered middle-class society ostracized. In cities like Manchester, sports such as pedestrianism, developed alongside these establishments, creating a niche for such endeavours and enabling the publican to successfully transcend into the world of sport. This relationship between entrepreneurial sportsmen and public houses has long been noted and there are abundant examples of individuals who combined sporting activities with the role of licensee. However, many have approached this topic by documenting achievements of these men as athletes rather than exploring their impact as trainers and promoters. This paper addresses these issues by considering pub culture and pedestrianism in Manchester 1840-1880, exploring some individuals in more detail through individual and collective biographical studies using a small-scale prosopographical approach.

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