On Saturday Bradford Local Studies Library hosted a talk by Rob Grillo, author of several sporting histories. His new book ‘Late to the Game’ covers the introduction to and early years of football in Bradford as it took over from rugby as the main winter sport. However it took the round ball game a long time to come to the West Riding and to Bradford in particular. The book is the sixth in a series of volumes in the Bantamspast series published by John Dewhirst who introduced the talk.
In his talk Rob explained how Bradford had many early failed attempts to create a successful soccer team in the late 1880s and how the current Bradford City AFC was founded in 1903. In the book there is a section on the women’s game and the reporting of early exhibition games before the FA banned women from playing on FA grounds in 1921. The book covers the successful Bradford schoolboys team, English champions in 1916 as well as details of all of the teams around the city including Bingley and Shipley.
A big thank you from Local Studies to Rob Grillo for a great morning and for sharing his expert knowledge and detailed research in this often neglected area of Bradford’s social history.
‘Late to the Game: The origins of association football in Bradford and the story of its pioneering clubs’ by Rob Grillo (bantamspast 2019) 9780956698490