Disability and football

Atherton, Martin orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-7300-2339 and Macbeth, Jessica Louise orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-2564-2267 (2016) Disability and football. In: Routledge Handbook of Football Studies. Routledge International Handbooks . Routledge, Abingdon, UK, pp. 279-292. ISBN 9780415815109

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Football rhetoric in recent years has emphasised the notion of the ‘football family’ as an inclusive concept, arguing that the global nature of football can be harnessed as a powerful force for positive social change. If this ‘footballing family’ analogy is applied to disabled people, they might be considered to have moved from being the relative hidden away in the corner at family events that nobody talks to (or about) to being the strange and eccentric relative whose right to be present is at least acknowledged if not fully understood. This chapter will outline briefly the history of disability and football, whilst identifying some of the issues faced by disabled people and investigating the increasing involvement of disabled people as both players and spectators.

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