Football

The year sport and politics became inseparable

18 December 2021 9:00 am

Sport and politics have always been intertwined, but this was the year they became joined at the hip. Yorkshire racism;…

A tale of bitter brotherly rivalry

13 November 2021 9:00 am

For early humans there was no distinction between spirit and matter. There was no idea of self; no barrier between…

Sky Sports is ruining my football season

6 November 2021 9:00 am

When I promised my 13-year-old son, Charlie, that we would go to as many QPR games as possible in 2021-22…

The burden of being a Newcastle United fan

30 October 2021 9:00 am

The second thing I learned about football, after moving to London, is that you can never, ever switch your allegiance.…

Who owns the language?

30 October 2021 9:00 am

The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, is giving local residents £25,000 grants to enable them to change the names of…

Why the Reds have got the blues

30 October 2021 9:00 am

Not so much the hair dryer: more a gentle home perm. Contemplating the increasingly less youthful visage of Ole Gunnar…

The thrill of running late

2 October 2021 9:00 am

‘Dad, why is it that whenever we go anywhere, we’re always running to catch a train?’ asked Charlie, my 13-year-old.…

Bleak, unashamedly macho and grown-up: BBC2's The North Water reviewed

11 September 2021 9:00 am

‘The world is hell, and men are both the tormented souls and the devils within it.’ This was the cheery…

Barça’s golden age and its ruling triumvirate

11 September 2021 9:00 am

Even against our better judgment we tend to imbue our sporting heroes with characteristics they may not possess. This can…

Why I don’t stick to football

11 September 2021 9:00 am

In football, you are always stronger in numbers. With a shared focus, people from different cultures, nationalities, races, sexual orientations,…

Why football fans are still booing players taking the knee

30 August 2021 3:52 pm

On the opening day of this year’s season, I went to see Chelsea play Crystal Palace. The match programme featured…

I took my wife to a Millwall match – and it didn’t go well

14 August 2021 9:00 am

The fighting started just as Caroline turned right on to the Uxbridge Road after emerging from QPR’s stadium on Loftus…

Will England pull out of the World Cup?

24 July 2021 9:00 am

I wonder if the moral guardians of our country — the England football team — intend to participate in the…

In defence of footballers taking the knee

24 July 2021 9:00 am

Before the television presenter Guto Harri took the knee live on air — which cost him his job at GB…

The 2020s will be boring, not roaring

24 July 2021 9:00 am

Earlier this year, I noted the suggestion (made by an American academic and run with by a swathe of the…

Football’s never coming home

17 July 2021 9:00 am

I failed a moral test last weekend. A friend offered me a free ticket to the Euro 2020 final and…

The challenges of being an England supporter in Italy

17 July 2021 9:00 am

  Dante’s Beach, Ravenna My fiery Italian wife Carla is not just a passionate patriot but also a devout Catholic, and…

Yes, they're deplorable – but those football tweets don't prove Britain is racist

17 July 2021 9:00 am

There are two certainties whenever England’s football team plays; one that is long-established and the other a recent phenomenon. Players…

The Marcus Rashford mural – an anatomy of a moral panic

16 July 2021 6:51 pm

Late on Sunday night, less than an hour after England lost on penalties to Italy in the European championship final,…

Isn't it time social media cracked down on racism?

12 July 2021 9:50 pm

No sooner had Bukayo Saka’s penalty kick thudded into the gloves of the Italian goalkeeper than you could see it…

England, Italy and the power of national pride

11 July 2021 7:23 pm

As an Englishman in enemy territory I am lucky that love is a more powerful emotion than patriotism otherwise after…

Jess Phillips is wrong about football’s double-barrelled surnames

11 July 2021 6:23 pm

As the nation went football mad last week, nowhere was there a more stark expression of the ‘I’m-new-to-this performative fandom’…

Do the England team play football, footer, footie – or soccer?

10 July 2021 9:00 am

I have never been a soccer mom, described in the Washington Post as ‘the overburdened, middle-income working mother who ferries…

Portrait of the week: Masks to be dropped, John Lewis builds houses and Russia lays claim to champagne

10 July 2021 9:00 am

Home Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister, said that if a review of coronavirus restrictions on 12 July allowed, then on…

Who was the first to wear a face mask?

10 July 2021 9:00 am

Mask crusader Who first wore a medical face mask? — The beaked outfits worn by plague doctors aside, the first…