Played in Liverpool

Charting the heritage of a city at play


By: Ray Physick
RRP: £14.99
Special offer: £10 (post-free to UK)
Format: 192pp softback 210mm x 210mm
ISBN: 978 185074 9905
Published by English Heritage in June 2007


Becher's Brook at Aintree, the legendary Kop at Anfield, the 18th tee at Hoylake - just three Liverpool landmarks on the map of international sport. But sporting heritage on Merseyside permeates the entire region and its cultural legacy. Played in Liverpool is the seventh book in a groundbreaking English Heritage series celebrating Britain's rich and diverse sporting heritage.

Lavishly illustrated and adopting a completely new approach to the study of sporting and urban history, Played in Liverpool leads readers along a trail of fascinating locations and little known buildings, landscapes and waterscapes; from the dockside location of Britain's first municipal swimming baths and the nation's oldest first class cricket pavilion at Aigburth, to the footballing giants of Liverpool and Everton, confronting each other across the expanse of Stanley Park.

It was in Liverpool that seven Olympic Festivals were staged in the 19th century, long before the modern Games were revived in 1896. Also in the 1890s a canny city engineer, John Brodie, designed football's original goal nets, while vast offices belonging to Littlewoods and Vernons housed the headquarters of the football pools industry. At Goodison Park we learn about the origins of the Toffee Lady, dispenser of sweets to the Everton faithful before every match.

In Kirkdale we visit Britain's oldest surviving Boys' Club, the Gordon Institute. On the Wirral coast and on the links leading from the Liverpool docks to the refined seaside resort of Southport we visit Art Deco golf clubhouses and suburban cricket clubs.

We visit the Bebington Oval, made famous by the film Chariots of Fire, and in a city centre factory discover a treasure trove of billiards and snooker memorabilia.

The Cavern Club, that ferry across the Mersey, and Scouse humour have long been celebrated in popular British culture. Now, as Liverpool prepares to act as City of Culture for 2008, it is time to reveal its sporting secrets.

So hold on to your bobble hats for a story that has never been told.

Played in Liverpool is sponsored by the Liverpool Culture Company