Christmas spirit on the fields: the story of the traditional Boxing Day of English football

Everyone, at least once in their life, is good. Such could be the subtitle of a treatise on the Boxing day, centenary holiday of the English and a long-awaited moment in the Premier League.

Boxing Day is celebrated every December 26That is, when the Christmas spirit is still latent and the rich remember that their servants are also people.

Legend has it (one of them, the other dating back to the reign of a certain Wenceslas, in the Middle Ages) that that day the British aristocrats used to give gifts to their servants. They were introduced in exquisite boxes (boxes, in English), hence the baptism of the date.

The lords and lords who wore titles of nobility also gave their people a day off and even let them take the leftovers from the Christmas binge.

The day of leave, which has a remote relationship with the origins of the carnival due to the suppression of social ranks, is also a day of intense football activity.

While in other countries of the main branches of the ball the players rest and hide from the cold, in the Premier League they are preparing for an intense day. The idea of ​​scheduling a date on December 26 is to air a fan sport with a family audience. Especially children.

Good intentions seem to pay off in this case, because Boxing Day games usually bring a lot of goals and emotions.

The most prolific year in the archives is 1963, when 66 goals were scored in 10 games, with some exceptional results including Fulham’s 10-1 win at Ipswich Town and Blackburn Rovers at 8-2 at West Ham United.

Boxing Day was established as a holiday in the British Isles in 1871. But football had already marked a milestone on December 26, more precisely in 1860.

The most popular sport in the world was still a game in search of its ultimate form. It was three years before the founding of the Football Association (FA) and there was not even a stable regulation.

However, Sheffield, one of the undisputed pioneers in the development of what is today a monumental business, already had their team and was eager to leave practice matches and find a rival. Mishaps of the advanced.

Finally Hallam FC, also from the industrial city of Sheffield, appeared and the first challenge in history was armed. Or better: the first club-level game in history. The victory was for Sheffield by 2 to 0. The statistics would not collect many more results in the years immediately following. It should be remembered that the first formal contest contemplated in the annals of football dates from 1872, when the FA Cup (England’s Cup) was released. That distant version had 15 participants and was left in the hands of Wanderers, who defeated Royal Engineers in the final match. The English league was only founded in 1888.

Always unique, while their fellows around the world take refuge in the privacy of home and declare a time out in the activities that occupy them during the year, the English celebrate with balls, drawing crowds.


Sunday 26th
Liverpool vs Leeds (postponed)
Wolves vs Watford (postponed)
Burnley vs Everton (postponed)
Manchester City vs Leicester City
Norwich City vs Arsenal
Tottenham Hotspur vs Crystal Palace
West Ham vs Southampton
Aston Villa vs Chelsea
Brighton vs Brentford
Monday 27
Newcastle vs Manchester United