Played in Britain

Charting the heritage of a nation at play

We publish books about Britain's sporting heritage. If you like an old scoreboard, or a mildewed pavilion; if you would like to know where to find the world's oldest bowling green, or the best Art Deco grandstand in London; if you're fed up with homogenised, commercialised sport, and long to dive into a Victorian swimming pool with gorgeous ceramic tiling; if you think potting balls all afternoon in a dimly-lit billiard hall is definitely not time mis-spent; if you have ever wondered why tennis and suburbia go together so well, then Played in Britain is for you...

Find out more about Played in Britain, our books and our authors

In order to form a just estimation of the character of any particular people, it is absolutely necessary to investigate the sports and pastimes most generally prevalent among them.

Joseph Strutt, 1801

Calling all Played in Britain regulars!

Played in Britain series editor Simon Inglis invites you to join him and the best selling thriller writer Lee Child — author of the Jack Reacher series and Booker Prize judge — for a one-hour webinar on Tuesday, December 8 at 7pm, when the two authors will be discussing their 58 years of supporting Aston Villa; the pain, the heartache and the occasional triumphs in between.

What is it about supporting a team that helps define us? How much does memory play a part? How many names of Villa players has Lee Child snuck into his Reacher books? And were the pies at Villa Park in the 1960s uniquely awful?

Tickets cost £8.00 via Eventbrite and all proceeds go to the Aston and Nechells Foodbank in Birmingham, which helps needy families in the neighbourhood around Villa Park.

Download the event PDF for more information.

To all our customers and friends — we are still accepting orders during the current Coronavirus situation, but please be aware delivery times cannot be guaranteed. Sales outside the UK may in particular take longer. Thanks for all your ongoing support and understanding. Stay safe, and remember the words of the poet Ovid, in his Art of Love: "In our play we reveal what kind of people we are"

Full of warm nostalgia, but in a serious meaty way, absorbing detail and fascinating social history… the usual Played in Britain trick (is) luring you into their world and making you care as much as they do about something to which you’d barely given a thought before. And… the quality of the photography is superb.

The Observer

For me, this series of books is invaluable. Previous lack of attention by sports historians to the built environment and the way this reflected or impacted on sport is now being redressed. Long may this excellent work continue.

Richard W Cox (University of Manchester) Sport in History

I love your books... keep this wonderful stuff coming.

Brenda Grace, Pontefract

Hugely impressive and immensely important, Played in Britain (is) rapidly becoming the guardian of the nation's sporting heritage.

A marvellous series - how did we ever do without it?

Brian Salter, East Grinstead

Played in Britain has a reputation for thoroughness and insight... editor Simon Inglis deserves credit for the clarity of his vision.

John Burnett, Folk Life: Journal of Ethnological Studies