Delegates from around the world recently gathered at Manchester’s Central Library for a civic reception. Hosted by Lord Mayor of Manchester, Eddy Newman, the reception the inaugural International Football History Conference.
Organised by Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU)’s Dr Gary James, the event had delegates from across the world. The delegates – from Australia, Turkey, Hong Kong, South Africa, the USA and Europe – discussed a wide range of topics.
Dr James, is well-known for his own football research and writing, particularly concerning Manchester’s clubs. He explains, “The conference has been organised to develop collaborations and opportunities for those researching football history around the world.
“The Lord Mayor and his staff have been extremely supportive, recognising how significant the sport is to the city. Football is in Manchester’s DNA and I can think of no better city to host a conference of this significance.
“The conference has demonstrated that academic football research is in an extremely strong position. Our work may be focusing on the game’s history but much of what has been presented influences football today”.
At the reception Lord Mayor Eddy Newman spoke of his delight at seeing so many delegates from around the world. He thanked them for visiting the city: “The last few weeks have been a testing time for the people of Manchester. But, as you can see, the city has been determined to carry on. Manchester has always been an open and welcoming city and will remain so.
“You are contributing to a conference that highlights leading research of a sport that means so much to Manchester – football. This city was built on cotton and industry but today is known throughout the world for its football. Wherever Mancunians travel, they always meet someone keen to talk about United, Alex Ferguson, City or the ‘Aguero’ moment”.
The main section of the conference took place at Manchester City’s City Football Academy. Subjects under discussion have included the origins of the game, gender, venues, the Premier League and international football.