Mike Bradbury set up a football research organisation called the Black Country Research in 2010 and has used his retirement years to gather knowledge to assemble a picture of what football was like in the Victorian Midlands.
He has visited the sites of the grounds of all the 61 defunct football teams within the book,some of which he has found after they were long forgotten about,and with the help of Birmingham football historian Steve Carr and other historians, has assembled a book which is quite readable, and has tried to avoid the usual 'train-timetable' type of book, which are often little more than a list of results down the ages, which many readers find somewhat a dull read. The book is partially autobiographic, which he hopes will improve the reader's enjoyment, in what is his first published book.
I am delighted to report that this site is averaging over 100,000 hits a month since its launch at the start of 2014.
The book is getting some very good reviews from historians and public alike and 3 month sales are now into three figures, and is stocked in public libraries.
If you want a signed copy of 'LostTeams of the Midlands' then post a cheque to me at 19 Calstock Road WV12 4TG for £17-50 (includes p&p) or £27-50 if you want the deluxe hardback version.
History of project
Mike Bradbury has been gathering football history and archive memorabilia since the 1960's
No book looking at the dozens of Victorian football teams who developed, organised, and promoted the association game across the Midlands has ever been published before. The book looks at the sometimes brief life of over 60 teams as far apart as Worcester Rovers and Staveley, Nottingham Rangers and Shrewsbury Engineers.
For the first time, the book can reveal the true beginnings of Walsall Swifts and Walsall Town, and the author has discovered lost football grounds all over the Black Country and the East Midlands.
We also learn for the first time previously unpublished team colours for teams like Wednesbury Strollers, Birmingham Calthorpe, Aston Unity,Wellington St.Georges,Elwells FC, Long eaton Rangers, Oswestry, Tipton, Shrewsbury FC, Stafford Road FC and Saltley College.
Persons who have an interest in the history of Association Football in the Midlands region of England from the formative years of 1860 through to the start of World War 1 when most football under the jurisdiction of the F.A was supspended,will be fascinated with this new book. The book looks individually at 62 teams who contributed to the growth and formation of the various county football associations which made up the 8 Midland Counties in the Victorian era. There is a growing interest from across the pond,as citizens of the United States and Canada are starting to be curious as to the history of the game they call 'soccer', and a read through this book, featuring all the long-forgotten but important teams from the Heart of England will provide them with a good starting place.
Researchers will find new material within the book's 400 pages,and some never-before-published photographs. Football enthusiasts and historians will find new information about teams ranging from Worcestershire to Nottinghamshire,and Shropshire to Warwickshire. Elusive early sides such as Calthorpe FC, Wednesbury Strollers, Derby Town, St.Georges (Aston), Nottingham Rangers, Shrewsbury Engineers, Rushall Rovers and West Bromwich FC (not WBA) each have over 1,000 words of text and team kit/ grounds information. Some sides, such as Elwells FC (Wednesbury), Saltley College (B'ham) ,Hednesford Swifts, Aston Unity and Aston Shakespeare have never appeared before at all in a book.
So historians,both amateur and serious alike will find this new book a wealth of information, as it sets out to bring,for the first time under one umbrella, all the lost teams of the midlands.
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