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Sir Stanley Rous and the Growth of World Football: An Englishman Abroad

At Wembley in 1966, England’s football captain Bobby Moore received the World Cup from Queen Elizabeth and FIFA president Stanley Rous. This book takes the life of Rous (1895-1986) as a lens through which to understand the escalating profile of football both nationally and globally. It illuminates how it was possible for Rous to emerge from a Suffolk village and ascend to the top of FIFA’s hierarchy and the company of elites. Educational opportunities, service in the Great War and an international referee’s profile prepared Rous for the position of Secretary at The Football Association, alongside charity work in World War II and organisational responsibilities for the London 1948 Olympics. His FIFA role combined diplomacy with development, in post-colonial times of volatile international relations. The book informs scholars and fans alike, showing too that Rous’s crowning achievement as FIFA President at the 1966 World Cup marked a peak for England’s power and influence in world football.

Alan Tomlinson is Professor of Leisure Studies at the University of Brighton, UK. He has published widely on cultural and historical sociology, focusing upon analysis of the sports spectacle, the place of leisure and popular culture in consumer culture, and the role of sport both within and across societies. He received his MA and DPhil from the University of Sussex, UK, and has published more than 40 volumes, 80 book chapters, and 45 journal articles. His books include Consumption, Identity and Style (1990); FIFA and the Contest for World Football (with John Sugden, 1998); Sport and Leisure Cultures (2005); A Dictionary of Sports Studies (2010); FIFA: The Men, the Myths and the Money (2014); Sport and Peace-Building in Divided Societies (with John Sugden, 2017); and Understanding International Sport Organisations (with Lincoln Allison, 2017).

“Alan Tomlinson tells the story of a man who rose from modest roots to climb football's governing ladder and become the president of Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), where he helped launch the World Cup from a notable quadrennial event to the global phenomenon it is today.”
Charles Campisi
Journal of Sport History, Volume 49

“Tomlinson’s very useful biography of Rous is a fascinating interpretation of a complex sports administrator who was clearly more than a 'Lawman'. [...] This will allow a new generation of researchers and scholars to interpret and ‘find’ Sir Stanley Rous and his contribution to football in England and across the world in different ways.”
Chris Bolsmann
Sports History, Volume 40

“[This] biography is scholarly, balanced and well-written and could usefully be read by anyone who seeks to understand the development of sport in the twentieth century. The author uses a wide variety of sources: I was rather taken, for instance, by the implicit connections between the young Rous’s essays on medieval history at St Luke’s and his later political outlook.”
Lincoln Allison
The Critic

Buy This Book

ISBN: 1-5275-5887-8

ISBN13: 978-1-5275-5887-8

Release Date: 23rd October 2020

Pages: 357

Price: £64.99


ISBN: 1-5275-5247-0

ISBN13: 978-1-5275-5247-0

Release Date: 3rd October 2023

Pages: 357

Price: £32.99