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West Midlands Turf War

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In the third volume of the acclaimed Turf Wars series, journalist and broadcaster Steve Tongue looks at the history of football in the West Midlands, where the world's first Football League was dreamed up and administered more than 130 years ago. Fierce rivalries had already emerged by then, and have remained as strong as anywhere. Aston Villa and Birmingham City (as Small Heath Alliance) were founded within a year of each other, only a few miles apart, as were equally bitter neighbours West Bromwich Albion and Wolves. And just as in London and Lancashire, turf wars were fought off the pitch too. In Burton and Walsall, the biggest local clubs once amalgamated to carry the name of their town forward. But what an outcry there was in the Potteries when Stoke City and Port Vale almost did the same. This is the story of them all, large and small, and non-league too with a colourful cast of characters - Stanley Matthews and Billy Wright, Major Frank Buckley and Ron Atkinson, William McGregor, Jimmy Hill and 'Deadly' Doug Ellis among them. Includes a colour picture section
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