New book: GB United? British Olympic Football and the end of the Amateur Dream


By Play the Game
Read the first chapter of Steve Menary's new book examing the history of British Olympic football through historical facts and interviews with former players about the Great Britain football team that won two Olympic gold medals and is set to play at the London 2012 Olympics for the first time in more than forty years.

Author Steve Menary is a regular contributor to Play the Game and Play the Game is happy to offer our readers an exclusive opprtunity to read the first chapter of his newest book.

Read the first chapter of Great Britain United? British Olympic Football and the end of the Amateur Dream here:
GB United? British Olympic Football and the end of the Amateur Dream

Read Steve Menary's comment on the composition of the London 2012 Great Britain team here:
Is the London 2012 influencing the EURO qualifiers?


Press Release:
The London 2012 Olympic Games will see the return of a football team that the world has not seen for more than forty years.

Only in the Olympics have the four Home Nations of the UK managed to unite and a century after last winning the Olympic football tournament, the British side will return for London 2012.

GB United? British Olympic Football and the end of the Amateur Dream is the first and only book to tell the full story of the UK’s Olympic efforts – which saw the team twice crowned world champions before petering out in the qualifiers for the 1972 Olympics in Munich.

Now, four decades on, the Olympic team is being revived as a one-off for London 2012 and the side will be one of the most talked about in world football.

GB United? author Steve Menary said, “The team for 2012 is supposed to be only English players but the British Olympic Association have not given up on the idea of a united team.

"With the tournament following directly after Euro 2012 and Fabio Capello being increasingly pressured to use younger players for the England team, there’s going to be a lot of strain on resources if England qualify for Poland and the Ukraine as the Olympics is an U-23 event, and there’s also still the issue of who the manager is going to be.”

Featuring scores of interviews with Olympic players, GB United? also traces the history of the amateur ethos of the game’s founders and how that credo died offering up a long-lost world that contrasts starkly with today’s over-commercialised football industry, but still provides an essential insight to the problems facing the current Olympic team.


* required field

What is three plus seven?

Guidelines for posting
Play the Game promotes an open debate on sport and sports politics and we strongly encourage everyone to participate in the discussions on But please follow these simple guidelines when you write a post:

  1. Please be respectful - even if you disagree strongly with certain viewpoints. Slanderous or profane remarks will not be posted.
  2. Please keep to the subject. Spam or solicitations of any kind will not be posted.

Accept cookies

By continuing to use this site you consent to the use of cookies on your device as described in our cookie policy unless you have disabled them.