‘Land of My Fathers’: Reflections on the Evolution of a Modern Sports Club

  • Campbell Williams


In 1903, my English great grandfather was selected to play rugby for England. In the very same match, he was also selected for Wales. He chose Wales. Over a century later, his choice has had significant and direct implications for my children, his fourth direct descendants, who are now playing organized sport, at Trojans, a community amateur multi-sports club in Hampshire, formed in 1874 before their great-great grandfather was even born. The development of this sports club, and my family history, exemplifies how sport has developed out of the industrial revolution, into sport for the masses, has produced soldiers and armies, and become a tool for propaganda. Opportunities for women arrived; first for the privileged, and then for all. Leagues and professionalism have developed, facilities have grown into hubs for the community, and sport has become an agent for government-sponsored behavior change. Due to the now significant growth of sports media, the leadership shown by sport in increasing participation from women and children, decreasing masculinities, and normalizing role models is leading to behaviors which, only ten years ago, were unthinkable. This chapter examines the change in the moral zeitgeist over the past century through the experience of one family, and one sports club, alongside relevant theoretical developments. It also sets out potential areas for further study to understand the impact of sports and sports clubs on wider community behavior.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Campbell Williams
    • 1
  1. 1.University of WinchesterWinchesterUK

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