Calling it “soccer” is just fine!
Did you know that many UK publications used the words “football” and “soccer” more or less interchangeably in the 1950s and 60s? According to an academic study released just in time for the World Cup in Brazil, we North Americans don’t need to feel ashamed of calling it soccer!
“Given the antipathy to the word “soccer” in the UK today, it might surprise many people to know that many of the most famous personalities of the 1960s and 70s used the word “soccer” in their autobiography. Thus Sir Matt Busby, the celebrated manager of Manchester United in the 1950s and 60s entitled his autobiography “Soccer at the top”. One biography of George Best, the most famous player of the era, was titled “George Best: the inside story of soccer’s superstar”. Jimmy Hill, one of the most influential figures in the development of English football entitled his autobiography as a player “Striking for Soccer” in 1961, while the autobiography of John Charles, a great player of the 1950s was titled “King of Soccer”.
Happy FIFA World Cup, everyone! And let’s close with my favourite George Best quote:
I spent a lot of money on booze, birds and fast cars. The rest I just squandered.