Friday, December 30, 2011

Gentlemen or Hooligan?

The oft repeated quote that football (soccer) is a gentleman's game played by hooligans and that rugby is a hooligan's game played by gentlemen and is the source of the title of my blog about the Grimsby Gentlemen Rugby Football Club is surprisingly not that old (or at least not that old compared to me).  Sean Fegan in his blog actually found that the earliest reference he could find was a quote from the Chancellor of Cambridge in "The Times" of London of January 30, 1953 in an article called "The Evolution of Football" which states:

           "... a large family-Association, Rugby Union, Rugby League, Gaelic football, American football and Australian Rules.  Each clearly has its merits and may safely be left to its adherents, but one cannot refrain from repeating the story of a certain Chancellor of Cambridge University (confessing complete ignorance of all football), who was asked to sum up a debate on Association and Rugby.  "It is clear,"he said," that one is a gentlemen's game played by hooligans; the other a hooligan's game played by gentlemen."

Note the Chancellor did not determine which code was the gentlemen and which code was the hooligans but left it up to history and myself to decide; so I did.

Fegan's blog is a fascinating look at the history of rugby, check it out.


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