Americans may like to think they invented baseball (even if Jane Austen wrote about it decades earlier).
And the French might be proud of founding the modern Olympics (when, in fact, a Shropshire doctor beat them to it by forty years).
BUT IT WAS THE BRITISH THAT GAVE SPORT TO THE WORLD.
From the beginnings of 'the beautiful game' – raucous matches of folk football with hundreds of players on each side – to the original bowls – a thin excuse for drunkenness and gambling – games grew into sports here in Great Britain. And in Can We Have Our Balls Back, Please? Julian Norridge tells their stories with wit and good humour.
Including all the many sports we Brits have to be proud of – boxing, horse racing, cricket, football, rugby, hockey, lawn tennis (nearly called 'sphairistike') and more – and even those few that got away, this is everything you need to know about the very British love of sports and all the great games it's produced.
Because, even if we rarely win them, it's good to know we invented them.