Cricket’s County Championship began last week, so this week’s episode looks at the huge role that cricket played in the birth of the football codes. In the mid-nineteenth century cricketers across Britain took up football and cricket clubs started their own football sections.

The rugby and football authorities borrowed from cricket and took their lead from cricket’s attitude to professionalism. But within two decades, the tables had turned and cricket started to rely on football for financial security.

For more on the history of rugby and the other football codes, take a look at (where you can find the links for this episode) and follow me on Twitter at @collinstony

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