Sadly no royal books in my Ladybird collection so we going to have to do with a spot of football today instead.
I've had an old tatty copy of The Story of Football in my Ladybird collection for a while, but last week it was joined by a new copy with was re-released in 2012. My original has the matt picture boards as a cover, but the newer re-issue actually goes back to the plain board cover and printed dust-wrapper instead. Inside – everything is identical.
When first published in 1964 this book was very much written for boys who enjoyed football and wanted to know more about it. How different the game and its fans are now!
The book looks at the popularity of football trhough history and how the Royal family were for many years worried that that men would play football instead of doing archery and therefore they wouldn't have enough skilled archers to help them fight in times of war. It even went as far as laws being passed forbidding men to play football!
Football became a popular game for boys to play in school, but as each school made up their own rules they were unable to play each other in matches. There was also the added variation of whether or not a particular school allowed players to pick up the ball or not – in other words were they playing Rugby Football or Soccer?
The book then brings the reader up to date with football, well up to 1964. There's also a whole page devoted to the football pools and a lovely picture of the family filling in the pool coupons together. I'm pretty sure that doing so today would be classed as introducing children to gambling.
For any child interested in footballing facts the book features inside the front and rear covers a full list of which teams won the First Division League Championships and FC Challenge Cup in each year from 1950 to 1968 (suggesting that the book was replublished after the original publication in 1964) – ideal for anyone swatting up for a pub quiz.
This book was published as part of series 606C (sport) and was actually one of only two books in the series – the other being The Story of Cricket. The series was not expanded at the time as it was not seen as being a very popular one, yet the cover of the football book has appeared on mant items since – from mugs
to notebooks. This 2012 version was brought out to celebrate the European Football Championship.
If you have a collection of old Ladybird books then please feel free to join in with Ladybird Tuesday. There are no formal rules to follow, just leave a link to any post you write in the comments below and if you're feeling kind link back to my Ladybird Tuesday category here on Being Mrs C. Thank you!