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Bites, brawls and severed heads: football’s history of violence

Their defence was that, in the distant past, a Viking raid had been defeated by townsmen. The invaders’ captain was killed and his head kicked around like a football.

Is it true that soccer was originally played with a human head?

I’ve heard that soccer – or football, as you unwashed heathens outside the borders of America call it 😃 – is one of the oldest sports on earth, and was originally played after ancient wars, when the victorious army would decapitate a fallen enemy and kick the head around the battlefield.

Origin of Soccer

The first Football games played in Britain was played by the locals of east of England, starting after a 'legendary' game that involved kicking around the severed head of a Danish prince that they have defeated in a war. These games were violent, where injury and death were not uncommon

Medieval football - Wikipedia

A legend that these games in England evolved from a more ancient and bloody ritual of "kicking the Dane's head" is unlikely to be true. These antiquated games went into sharp decline in the 19th century when the Highway Act 1835 was passed banning the playing of football on public highways. [5]

The Sports Archives – The Origin of Football (Soccer)! | The ...

Legend has it (and from a few football historians) that between 1018 and 1042 after the Danish invasion of England, workers discovered the head of a Danish soldier to which they began to ‘kick’ around. Thus, the game of ‘Kick the Dane’s head’ was started and later on, the ‘head’ was substituted with an inflated cow’s bladder.

A Brief History of Soccer | Mental Floss

A Brief History of Soccer. BY Stefanie Fontanez. June 28, 2008. As a German soccer fan, I've been doing quite a bit of screaming the past few weeks—especially on Tuesday, after Germany defeated ...

Soccer Ball History

Certain ancient Egyptian rites are said by historians to have similarities with football, and both the ancient Greeks and Romans also played a game that entailed carrying and kicking a ball. According to pre-medieval legend, an entire village would kick a skull along a path to a nearby village square.

The Origin, History, and Invention of Soccer

The Chinese game of Tsu-Chu or Cuju is recognized as an ancient form of football. Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons Tsu'Chu involved kicking a small leather ball into a net strung between two bamboo poles. The use of hands was not permitted, but a player could use his feet and other parts of his body.