Maidenhead United to host seminar on football and war

Shay Bottomley

Football supporters and historians of all ages are among those invited to a ‘Football and War Network’ seminar at Maidenhead United’s York Road on Tuesday.

The Network – supported by the University of Wolverhampton - is made up of historians of war with an interest in football and football club historians.

It aims to brings together historians from the academic and football worlds so that, for the first time, all the academic, practitioner and fan research centred around football, war and history can link up.

The Network researches, discusses and disseminates subjects such as: football and the two world wars, footballers involved in armed conflict, football clubs and their relationship with the armed forces, the social impact of football on the populace during times of war, the military and political implications of the role of footballers and football clubs during times of armed conflict.

Tuesday’s seminar at York Road will also feature Magpies director Steve Jinman as a keynote speaker at the event.

Ahead of the event, Steve has been delving into the archives and will be delivering a fascinating talk on the subject of ‘World War I and Maidenhead Football’.

“Using the Advertiser online archive as my principal source, I have unearthed some fascinating stories about football at York Road and the wider Maidenhead area during the Great War,” he said.

“This includes tales of the game in the German POW camp at Holyport.

“There will also be details of the extraordinary, and many some cases, tragic experiences of footballing Maidonians on active service all over the world.

“Finally, I will explore the post-war consequences at York Road which almost led to the club leaving the ground when uniting with the Norfolkians.”

The event – held in conjunction with Maidenhead United Community Trust – will also feature speakers delivering specialist presentations on The Chelsea FC Graves Society, Women’s Football and The Two World Wars and the extraordinary tale of the ‘Football of Loos’, used in the largest British attack of 1915. Attendees will have a chance to hold this unique piece of military history.

Club secretary Neil Maskell said: “As a club, Maidenhead United is hugely proud of our long history so naturally we are delighted to be able to work with the Football and War Network to deliver what we expect to be a fascinating evening of discussion on a diverse range of topics.

“The evening we expect to be of interest to anyone with an interest in football in Maidenhead and the history of football in general.

“We also expect the event will appeal to those with an interest in military history.

“Everyone will be warmly welcomed at this free event and of course the Stripes Bar will be open to provide refreshments as we listen in to snippets of history both local and international which will surprise and captivate us all.”

The seminar begins at 7.30pm and admission is free for all to attend.

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