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By Robert Edelman

Robert Edelman unravels the intriguing tale of the politics behind the rise-and-fall of a crack Red Army football team during the Cold War.

World Cup fever seems to have been with us since modern sport began. In Britain, it always hasn't been the case.

West Germany take home the trophy for the first time.

West Germany take home the trophy for the first time.

When West Germany won the competition for the first time in 1954 they were the unfancied representatives of a divided nation emerging from defeat and humiliation, says Paul Legg.

W.H. Chaloner describes the eventful and varied life of a sometime steam engine manufacturer, champion boxer, and, in later life, firefighter.

A fashionable parade and a scene of sporting contests, St James’s Park was first enclosed by Henry VIII. Marjorie Sykes describes the history of the park, including how James I kept a menagerie and aviary there, to which Charles II added pelicans.

In the 1880s, writes Ronald Rees, an English community brought with it to Canada hunting, horse-racing, cricket, tennis and rugby.

David Rubinstein describes a change in social habits when the new bicycle replaced the old Penny Farthing.

As the Football Association marks its 150th anniversary, Richard Sanders looks at the enduring legacy of the sport’s pioneers.

Tzykanion, or polo, formed part of the ritual of life at the court of the Emperors in Constantinople. Expertise on horseback, writes Anthony Bryer, was one of the requirements of Imperial dignity.

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