Sporting lunchtime lectures are back!

Saturday 7 October

Dr Simon Rofe

Games Within Games: Sport and Diplomacy


As a ubiquitous part of modern life, sport has a powerful capacity to touch individuals and societies around the world in ways that traditional forms of diplomacy and those traditionally thought of as diplomats rarely can. Welcome to the world of Sports Diplomacy: from the Olympic Games, Men’s and Women’s World Cups and football club ownership to grassroots sports, governance and ethics


Dr J Simon Rofe is Reader/Associate Professor in the School of Politics and International Studies at the University of Leeds, and Deputy Director of CODE, University of London. He is widely published in the field of Diplomacy and particularly in leading the development of the field of Sports Diplomacy following a role in the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games in 2012 alongside working with practitioners in government, Diplomatic Services and International Organisations in the worlds of sport and diplomacy.


Saturday 25 November

Dr David Pendleton

Let’s Go City Sox!

Professional Baseball in Yorkshire 1935-39


The founder of Littlewood’s Pools, John Moores, bankrolled a concerted attempt to introduce professional baseball into Britain in the 1930s. The game spread into eastward Yorkshire from Moores base at Liverpool. Yorkshire baseball was largely housed at greyhound stadia, due to hostility from cricket and rugby league officials.


Bradford’s had two professional clubs, the Greenfield Giants and the City Sox. Bradford was also home to an amateur league and a handful of women’s teams. The other powerhouse of Yorkshire baseball was Hull, which boasted a four division amateur league, a women’s section and a thriving youth league. The war saw the game collapse in Bradford, but in Hull it continued after the conflict, where there was everything from European competitions to a short-lived fanzine!


Saturday 9 December

Dr Peter Watson

Colo Colo and the Coup: football in Chile in 1973 and under Pinochet


This year sees the 50th anniversary of the Chilean military coup led by General Augusto Pinochet that deposed the leftwing government of Salvador Allende. It was also a significant year for Chilean football as the country’s most popular team surged towards the final of the Copa Libertadores, providing a distraction for the population in a turbulent and fractured society.


This talk will mainly explore how football and politics collided in 1973 and 1974, discussing the heroes of Colo Colo, the use of the National Stadium directly after the coup, the role of and impact on players in the aftermath of the coup, and how Pinochet used football during his dictatorship.


Saturday 6 January

Dave Scally

Pullets of the Caribbean


Geoffrey Richmond, Paul Jewell, Terry Yorath and Peter Beagrie were among the cast of City’s pre-season trip to St Kitts in 1999.


To which fans were invited! This is the inside story of one who was there.


Saturday 17 February

Kathryn Hey and Steve Bolton

Hey’s Ladies 

Yorkshire’s Forgotten Football Champions


Steve Bolton’s grandma was one of the legendary Dick Kerr’s Ladies, the Preston-based works team that dominated women’s football during the First World War and inter-war period. They only really had one real rival, Hey’s Ladies of Bradford.


Kathryn Hey and Steve Bolton come together to bring this fascinating tale to life and bring it bang up to date, with England’s Lionesses successes on the international stage.


Saturday 16 March

Dr Ffion Thomas

The visual culture of football

Heritage and Nostalgia in Ground Moves


When Saturday Comes feature writer Dr Ffion Thomas investigates how stadium moves impacts on supporters match day routines, the self-image of clubs and how former grounds are remembered and commemorated.


Ffion is a co-instigator of the University of Sheffield’s Sporting Statues Project, which since 2011 has studied the proliferation of statues of sportspeople in the UK and worldwide. Her PhD at the University of Central Lancashire’s International Football Institute in Preston, focussed on the motivations, significance and impact of English football clubs moving stadium since 1988 and in particular the visual culture associated with such moves. More importantly she is a huge Norwich City fan.


Saturday 6 April

Peter Chymera

Ukrainian football and the war

The game goes on


A welcome return to the Record Cafe of the Uki Bantams. As the conflict in the Ukraine enters its second year, we hear how football in the country has adapted to wartime conditions.


From the national teams morale boosting efforts on the field to supporters groups on the frontline.



Sporting Lunchtime Lectures 2023/24 - Noon start -