Soccer? Don't The English Call It Football?
Rare souvenier poster map, celebrating the history of English professional football, which is curiously called Soccer in the title, suggesting that perhaps it was made for an American audience, rather than an English audience.
The "Pictorial Map of Soccer" offers a detailed insight into the history of English professional football up to the year 1971.
Covering the geography of England and Wales, the map overlays the terrain with the context of football. Each football club's location is indicated.
At the top corners of the poster, representations of the Football Association Challenge Cup and The Football League Cup are proudly displayed, emblematic of the prestige and importance of these competitions in English football.
The map's left column contains a list of over 50 professional football clubs, providing essential information about each one, including their names, nicknames, team colors, and dates of foundation. This veritable encyclopedia of clubs offers a comprehensive view of the landscape of English professional football as it stood at the time.
The opposite column, meanwhile, highlights the winners of the F.A. Challenge Cup from 1872 to 1970, recognizing the achievements of the teams that claimed this coveted prize during the competition's first century.
Four separate text boxes distributed across the poster present key moments and transitions in English football history. One box recounts significant milestones in the history of football from 1846 to 1971. Another lists the teams that were promoted or relegated in the Football League between 1923 and 1970, tracing the shifting fortunes of these clubs. A third box highlights the champions of the Football League from 1889 to 1970, while a fourth box displays World Cup statistics at the bottom center of the poster.
In a nod to the players who shaped the game, the map also includes a list of 24 players who made significant contributions to their teams and the sport. Names like George Best, Bobby Charlton, and Gordon Banks are featured, linking the past of English football with the time the map was made.
Overall, the "Pictorial Map of Soccer" serves as a detailed chronicle of English professional football up to 1971. It's a carefully curated collection of information, a celebration of the sport's history, and a tribute to the clubs and players who shaped it. It provides not just a geographical overview but also a temporal journey through the football landscape of England and Wales.