PostWorld Cup blues Delve into the history of the beautiful game

If the World Cup final leaves football fans wanting more, then a free online course has the answer in the form of one of the beautiful game’s most unlikely success stories.

The World Cup has captured the global football audience in 2018, but in 2016, football fans from all over the world celebrated as Leicester City Football Club completed one of the most remarkable stories in the history of English club football. The club won the Premier League title - despite being written off as relegation candidates at the start of the season when bookmakers made them 5000-1 outsiders to be crowned champions.

Now, in an updated free online short course called ‘English Football: a Social History', learners can find out all they need to know about the history of the game, Leicester City Football Club’s extraordinary success in the 2015/16 Premier League season, plus new content on the World Cup, from its origins to Russia 2018, updated specially for this year.

The free online course, delivered by the University of Leicester and De Montfort University, in association with Leicester City Football Club, is available for enrolment now and starts on 16 July – the day after the 2018 FIFA World Cup final - on the FutureLearn social learning platform. Learners will cover the origins of football, early fandom, politics, the women’s game, and the role of the media in its recent cultural and economic transformation. They will also be able to share their views throughout the course, helping to explore the role football plays in their lives and what the sport really means to them.

In offering this unique opportunity to provide a pertinent, reflective take on the recent global story of football, the course combines the expertise of football academics from the University of Leicester’s Unit for Diversity, Inclusion and Community Engagement (DICE) in the School of Media, Communication and Sociology and the International Centre for Sports and Culture (ICSHC) in the School of Humanities at De Montfort University. It will also draw on the expertise of Leicester City Football Club’s Historian, John Hutchinson, to provide a unique insight into the background of the club and the remarkable 2016 season.

Learners can join the course for free, or can upgrade for £42 to receive additional benefits.