FIFA Museum Make Follow Up Visit to Exeter City

Fifamuseum2The Exeter City History Group has been delighted to host a follow up visit to the Club by FIFA’s World Football Museum.

FIFA’s new museum is due to open in Zurich in February and they have a particular interest in Exeter City’s match with Brazil in 1914.

An initial visit had been made in September by consultant Peter Robinson and on 19 November Guy Oliver, who will be curator for some of the planned exhibitions, came to St James Park to develop the relationship further.

Guy is a leading authority on world football. He produced and directed the TV series History of Football: The Beautiful Game – a 13 hour documentary in which over 350 ex footballers from around the world were interviewed. He is also the co-author of the yearly publication ‘The Almanack of World Football’.

During his visit Guy met Club Board Chairman Julian Tagg, Business Development Manager Bruce Henderson and several members of the Supporters Trust’s History Group. He also had discussions with Martin McGahey (whose great grandfather Michael was Club Chairman at the time of the 1914 tour of South America) and, by Skype, talked to Aidan Hamilton author of ‘Have you ever played Brazil?’.

The visit was co-ordinated by Gabriella Giannachi, Professor of Performance and New Media, University of Exeter and a member of the Exeter City History Group Committee. It was her research into how to present archival material to the public that had originally stimulated FIFA’s interest.

Will Barrett, a football historian and researcher in mobile technologies, who has been working with a team of 10 interns from the University of Exeter to digitise materials for the Grecian Archive, was able to showcase the work done over the last two years. Will is also on the History Group Committee.

The new museum will have a permanent exhibition of around 1000 items but will also stage and tour with temporary displays. The opening exhibition will be on Brazil 2014 and a further one is planned on the spread of football around the world in the early years of the twentieth century.

“The Exeter City story of 1914 is obviously of huge interest to us and is relevant to both these exhibitions” said Guy Oliver. “The tours made by English Clubs, like Exeter, to South America were a huge factor in the growth of the football there”.

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