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I am a historian and author, an emeritus professor of history at  De Montfort University and also a visiting professor at Beijing Sports University.

My books have won the Aberdare Prize for Sports History four times since 1999 and I have been a consultant to numerous TV and radio programmes, including BBC Radio 4's thirty-part 2012 series Sport and the British with Clare Balding, the History Channel’s Alfie Allen's Football: A Brief History, and BBC Wales’ The Rugby Codebreakers.

I work as the historical consultant to Rugby League Cares, the rugby league charity, and am a member of the RFU's World Rugby Museum sub-committee, and a director of the Hull Kingston Rovers Community Trust

I am also a member of the Historians' Panel of the National Football Museum Hall of Fame. In April 2017 I was appointed to the Yorkshire and Humber committee of the Heritage Lottery Fund

I was chairperson of the British Society for Sports History in 2001 and the editor of the academic journal Sport in History from 2001 to 2007. From 2006 to 2010 I led the Institute of Northern Studies at Leeds Metropolitan University, and from 2011 to 2013 I was the Director of the International Centre for Sports History & Culture at De Montfort University.

In March 2018 I began the weekly Rugby Reloadedpodcast on the history of rugby, which can be downloaded from the iTunes Store or Soundcloud.

My new book How Football Began: A Global History of How the World's Football Codes Were Born, will be published by Routledge on 4 September 2018.

I can be contacted via