The English Game

Redwurzel

Active member
#1
The English Game is a new drama series on Netflix.

Its set in 1879 and 1880 and revolves around the FA Cup and the clash between the FA run by public school boys and the start of Northern working class interest in football and professionalism. Its not just about football there are lots of relationship issues and baby issues in it too to keep people interested who have little interest in football. After watching all 6 parts back to back last night. I gave it a 9 out of 10 for entertainment on a theme not covered in dramas/film before to my knowledge.

It got me wondering of there was a class clash in Middlesbrough around football. Middlesbrough Ironopolis were a professional club and Middlesbrough FC were amateur for a long time. Were the Ironops more working class? Looking on Wikipedia I noticed the Ironops played with a diagonal white stripe on red like the team of 2014/15, I previously thought their strip was maroon and green halves?
 
#2
Ironpolis certainly sounds working class, you can’t imagine an image conscious bunch of moneyed people wanting to be too associated with all that industrial revolution stuff can you? Maybe new money was behind the Nops.

And I’ve always said the Boro are a gentleman’s team. Not for our boys is getting stuck in on a cold muddy winters day like some of the ‘ruffian’ teams like Leeds for example. If they could play in suits and ties they probably would.

if you look through the records Ironopolis played some of the current big teams in their brief appearance in the football league. You feel they had something about them, maybe a missed opportunity for the town and the area.
 
#6
will be watching this...

"Ironpolis ..can’t imagine an image conscious bunch of moneyed people wanting to be too associated with all that industrial revolution.."

http://www.historicalkits.co.uk/Middlesbrough_Ironopolis/Middlesbrough_Ironopolis.htm
Thanks for that link, so it was class based, much the same as rugby union v rugby league by the sound of it.
If they had survived I think I would have watched both clubs on alternating weeks, two season cards would have set me back a bit.
 
#9
Any good? Trying to find something half decent to watch
Yeah, it's alright.
Not a great deal of focus on the actual football history, but it's a fairly easy watch and is only 6 episodes long.
If you like Downton Abbey style stuff, you'll probably enjoy it.

I'd give it a 6/10, not amazing but far from the horror show that the Guardian review made out.
 
#13
Yeah, it's alright.
Not a great deal of focus on the actual football history, but it's a fairly easy watch and is only 6 episodes long.
If you like Downton Abbey style stuff, you'll probably enjoy it.

I'd give it a 6/10, not amazing but far from the horror show that the Guardian review made out.
Just watched it. All a bit too simple for me, no depth. Better Call Saul on the other hand...
 
#14
If they had survived I think I would have watched both clubs on alternating weeks, two season cards would have set me back a bit.
Yeah, like people watch Wednesday & United, Villa & Birmingham, County and Forest etc.

You'd have had to choose, and then you'd have hated the other one ! I can't imagine having two teams in the town, imagine what those European nights or Carling Cup times would have been like with only half the town getting involved...
 
#15
Yeah, like people watch Wednesday & United, Villa & Birmingham, County and Forest etc.

You'd have had to choose, and then you'd have hated the other one ! I can't imagine having two teams in the town, imagine what those European nights or Carling Cup times would have been like with only half the town getting involved...
We are not a big city like those other places you mention, I’m sure both clubs would have shared support. Would have been expensive mind.
 
#16
Nobody supports 2 teams in a single town/city. They would be fierce rivals. The only situation where it could have 2 teams that shared supporters is if one of them was significantly further down the pyramid than the other. Even in that situation the small club would probably hate the big club.
 
#17
We are not a big city like those other places you mention, I’m sure both clubs would have shared support. Would have been expensive mind.
Can you name another town/city where that happens ? I'm struggling to think of one (doesn't mean there isn't one).

I don't think the size of the town/city has anything to do with it - are you suggesting that people in Middlesbrough aren't extremely parochial ?
 
#18
I think some of the big city club rivalries are hyped up. I’m not convinced there aren’t plenty of people in Liverpool who don’t want both clubs to prosper, I’m also not convinced Manchester as a whole doesn’t want both clubs to do well. London also has a tradition of transient support.

Some of these clubs were founded historically on religious divides (Liverpool Protestant, Everton catholic, Man U catholic, City protestant) so that may have manifested itself in the modern era as well, so historic separation and rivalry for a different reason.

I think with some cities there has to have been some geographical divides between say Birmingham (City), Aston (Villa) and say West Bromwich (Albion), so separate towns within the same conurbation.

Middlesbrough is only a small town so it is likely one club would have attracted more resources than the other but I don’t think this area is big enough not to be wanting both teams to do well. I for one would have supported both clubs had the Nops survived.
 
#19
I have lived in Liverpool for a while and I can safely say that even though they are a friendly rivalry they don't want to see each other succeed at all. Especially Everton, they really hate Liverpool. Liverpool don't hate Everton as much for a couple of reasons; they always beat them is one but the fact that Liverpool's fan base is from all over the world rather than just in the city means a local rivalry is less important. That sort of fan sees the teams in the top 6 as the rivals. Liverpool v Man Utd are the 2 sets of fans that hate each other the most though.
 
#20
I went to Uni in Manchester and can safely say that City and United hate each other - probably not as much as the Glasgow clubs (or even Edinburgh clubs where I also lived) but those both have a religious element to them as well, obviously.

Of course Utd hate Liverpool and Leeds too, but they still dislike City too and I doubt you'll get many people in the city who want the other to do well.

People in Middlesbrough dislike anything that isn't Middlesbrough (massive generalization but just look at the ire London attracts on this board) and to think that they'd be charitable about having 2 football clubs in the same small area, competing for the same 30-40k of supporters is just wishful thinking IMHO.
 
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