Comparisons of the Changing Regional Origins of Male Professional Footballers in Great Britain: 1950, 1980 and 2010.

Authors: Eddie Bairam*, California State University, Long Beach
Topics: Recreational and Sport Geography, Cultural Geography
Keywords: Sports Geography, Sports Diffusion,
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/13/2018
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Edgewood AB, Sheraton, 4th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

The article Changing Regional Origins of an Occupation: the case of professional footballers in 1950 and 1980, written in 1983 by British Geographer Dr. John Bale, focused on the origins of professional football (soccer) players separated over a 30 year period. Using secondary quantitative data, Bale identified how the origins of this particular occupational group in Great Britain had changed in this time. Ultimately, his results showed that in 1950 most professional footballers came from lesser affluent and working class towns in the north of England, parts of Scotland and Wales. By 1980 the origins of these footballers had diffused more towards southern and more middle class regions. This research picks up 30 years later by collecting data from 2010, and identifies even more comparisons from the original two study periods of 1950 and 1980. This continuation of research gives an excellent comparison to a compelling study area and reinforces how changes in society, advancements in technology, the emergence of globalization, and most importantly, how historical legacy has influenced the origins and diffusion of a particular and very popular occupation.

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