Anthony King (2006) suggests that soccer provides an increasingly important arena to express an emergent English (over British) national identity. This paper uses data from pub-based participant observation and an online survey conducted during the 2006 World Cup Finals to explore the complexities of contemporary English identities among ‘everyday’ soccer fans. We discuss the relevance of local identities by focusing on contemporary displays of support for the England team, particularly by supporters of clubs situated below the English Premier League that have been neglected in previous studies. We make reference to the ways in which local identities have often become interchangeable with the English nation, before suggesting that the nation can empower local identities when on an international stage. As such we regard support for the English national team as a site for expressing both national and local layers of identity that are informed in different ways by processes of globalisation.
|Annals of Leisure Research
|Published - 2007