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Bigotry, Football and Scotland

Edited by John Flint, John Kelly

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A multidisciplinary analysis of sectarianism and bigotry in Scottish football

Sectarianism and bigotry are among the most publicly debated issues in Scotland, often reported in the newspapers as the ‘shame’ of Scotland’s national game. The current crisis in Scottish football includes high profile controversies and disorder related to bigotry and sectarianism which resulted in new legislation to tackle offensive behaviour in and beyond football grounds.

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List of Contributors

Foreword by Lord Jack McConnell of Glenscorrodale


1 Football and Bigotry in Scotland – John Flint and John Kelly

Rethinking Geographical, Historical and Social Contexts

2 Outside the Hothouse: Perspectives Beyond the Old Firm – Michael Rosie

3 Is Football Bigotry Confined to the West of Scotland? The Heart of Midlothian and Hibernian Rivalry – John Kelly

4 ‘They Sing That Song’: Football and Sectarianism in Glasgow during the 1920s and 1930s – Andrew Davies

5 History and Memory in Scottish Football – Joseph M. Bradley

6 Scottish Enlightenment and the Sectarianism Civilising Offensive – John Flint and Ryan Powell

Constructing and Governing ‘Sectarianisms’ and Football

7 The New Sectarians – Stuart Waiton

8 Hegemony Fandom and the Red Herring of Sectarianism – Paul Davis

9 England’s Act, Scotland’s Shame and the Limits of Law – Niall Hamilton-Smith and David McArdle

10 He’s back! But Scotland’s National Demon Never Left: Revisiting Media Representations of Neil Lennon and Narratives of Bigotry – Irene A. Reid

Neglected Perspectives: Class, Gender and Football supporters

11 Women, Football and Communities: Gendered Conceptualisations of ‘Sectarianism’ – Kay Goodall and Margaret Malloch

12 The Politics of Anti-sectarianism – Joe Crawford

13 Sectarianism Sell s- or Does It? A Celtic Supporter’s View – Patrick McVey

14 Sectarianism and Scottish Football: A Rangers Perspective – Alasdair McKillop


15 Necessary Debates and Futures Research and Policy Imperatives – John Flint and John Kelly


About the Author

John Flint is Professor of Town and Regional Planning in the Department of Town and Regional Planning at the University of Sheffield. He previously held positions at Sheffield Hallam, Glasgow and Edinburgh Universities. His research interests include citizenship, cohesion, religion, urban governance and crime and anti-social behavior. He has conducted studies for funders including research councils and charities, government departments, local authorities and voluntary organizations.

John Kelly is a sociologist who lectures in Sports Management in the Moray House School of Education at the University of Edinburgh. He is a member of the Sport Policy, Management and Culture research group housed within the Institute for Sport, Physical Education and Health Sciences. His current publications and research revolve around sectarianism, nationalism, militarism and sport.


Bigotry, Football and Scotland is a work of high quality, although, like everything else, it establishes its own discursive formation, effectively setting parameters on legitimate subjects for discussion.
- Dominic Brown, Bella Caledonia

John Flint’s and John Kelly’s 2013 edited collection Bigotry, Football and Scotland gives the title topic a twenty-first century sheen... the authors, the academics, writers and supporter-bloggers (a welcome addition) here are engaging in a constructive dialogue. Bigotry, Football and Scotland, despite being designed to foster debate and accept disagreement, nevertheless works as a cohesive whole.

The editors... justifiably feel that they have put together a collection whereby scholars and policy-makers can hopefully build upon the opening-up of the topic and can begin to move beyond the most superficial discourses of sectarianism.

- Matthew L. McDowell, University of Edinburgh, The International Journal of the History of Sport

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