The new ‘Rugby Reloaded’ talks to Professor Gavin Kitching about Sunderland, Sunderland Albion, and how soccer overtook rugby in the North East of England in the 1870s and 1880s.

Gavin’s new book ‘A Fateful Love: Essays on Football in the North-East of England 1880-1930’ is a detailed investigation of the myths and realities of football’s rise, and also deeply thoughtful exploration about the nature of football, its appeal and what is perhaps its fateful contradiction.

For more on the history of rugby, soccer, 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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