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Metatarsals and magic sponges: English football and the development of sports medicine.

By Neil Carter


This article looks at the development of sports medicine within Britain using \ud professional soccer as a case study. It explores the relationship between sport and \ud medicine within wider society and argues that a cultural resistance, based on the \ud persistence of a voluntary tradition and an amateur ethos, largely shaped the \ud evolution of sports medicine. Footballers, however, as professional athletes, have \ud been regarded as assets and to a certain extent their value has been reflected by \ud the medical care they have received. The article will focus on four areas of sports \ud medicine: football’s duty of care to its players and the welfare that clubs have \ud provided for them; how the roles of football’s medical practitioners—doctors and \ud trainers—have developed; how treatments for injuries have changed over time \ud as medical knowledge improved; and finally, some ethical issues that have re- \ud volved around the role of the football club manager.This article was an outcome of a Wellcome Trust sponsored project on the history of sports medicine, 2004-07.

Topics: sports medicine, football, trainers, injuries
Publisher: North American Society for Sport History
Year: 2007
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