The Game that Never Happened by Ian Syson



The Game that Never Happened: The Vanishing History of Soccer in Australia by Ian Syson.


The Launch:

The MCC Library is becoming a favourite for book launches. It is a wonderful place, which its custodians appreciate and hence treat all and sundry – living, breathing, paged and bound and so on – with the utmost respect. Thanks David and Trevor and your squad of helpers. Ian’s launch was another enjoyable hour or so with a full house. Roy was an impish MC of the roving type, untagged, and he was both part of it and not from stage left (to those of us on the stage). I recommend Ian’s book. The depth and breadth of research has given rise to a fascinating survey of soccer from the nineteenth century through to post-World War I with some case studies which penetrate even further. It combines narrative history (based on newspaper research) with an argument about the way in which soccer was reported in newspapers. In that way the argument – which you can discover for yourself – is at once stated, affirmed and demonstrated with an analysis of the language around soccer compared with the language used around Australian Football. In a stroke of genius Ian manages to keep both the narrative historians and students of cultural studies happy. That is no mean feat. I should also mention that it’s a really engaging, instructive and at times entertaining read. But that comes  as no surprise.


Ian Syson (the author), John Harms, John Didulica.


About the book:


The Game That Never Happened finishes where other histories of Australian soccer have barely started. It begins mid-nineteenth century and concludes between two world wars, when the game suffers from a massive and perhaps crippling collapse. Australian soccer’s prehistory and early history are vital but forgotten stories. If we are ever to domesticate what is still seen as a foreign game by many important historiographical, cultural and media narratives, this story needs to be told.


The lie is that soccer is the game that never happened in Australia. The lie needs to be demolished.


To order a copy contact Roy Hay HERE




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