Arthur Kinnaird was football's first superstar. Described as 'without exception, the best player of the day'' he played in nine FA Cup Finals (a record to this day), selected Scotland's first international team, and was President of the Football Association for 33 years. He was such a dominant figure that he was presented with the FA Cup in gratitude. His extraordinary life is revealed for the first time by sports historian Andy Mitchell, who has researched not just Kinnaird's crucial contribution to the formative years of football but a great deal more: he was an outstanding sportsman, a tennis blue, swimming champion, track athlete, canoeist, and even played competitive cricket in his fifties. He was a high profile figure in late Victorian society, energetic and enlightened, known as 'the busiest man in London'. A fervent evangelical, he spent his nights in the slums, teaching destitute children to read and write, and devoted much of his banking fortune to charities and religious missions. This book is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the early development of Britain's most popular sport, and how one man led football from parkland pastime to national obsession.
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About the Author
Andy Mitchell is one of Scotland's leading sports historians. Passionate about football, he has written extensively on the sport and has witnessed plenty of football history in the making: as head of communications at the Scottish Football Association, he travelled with the Scotland team from the Faroes to the Far East, and now works as a media officer for UEFA. He is distantly related to William Kenyon-Slaney, who scored England's first ever goal - against Scotland.