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Football in England
Football is, I suppose, the most popular game in England; one has only to go to one of the important matches to see this. Rich and poor, young and old, one can see them all there, shouting and cheering for one side or the other.
One of the most surprising things about football in England to a stranger is the great knowledge of the game which even the smallest boy seems to have. He can tell you the names of players in most of the important teams, he has photographs of them and knows the results of large numbers of matches. He will tell you, who he expects will win such and such a match, and his opinion is usually as good as that of men three or four times older.
Most schools in England take football seriously – much more seriously than nearly all European schools. In England, it is believed that education is not only a matter of filling a boy’s mind with facts in the classroom: education also means of games, especially team games, where the boy has to learn to work with others for his team, instead of working selfishly for himself alone.
The school therefore arranges games and matches for its pupils. Football is a good team game, it is good exercise for the body, it needs skill and a quick brain, it is popular and it is cheap: as a result, it is the schools’ favourite game.