`Football Remembers': The Collective Memory of Football in the Spectacle of British Military Commemoration

Daniel Fitzpatrick*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article examines two major rituals of contemporary national life in the UK: association football and military commemoration. It explores the ways in which remembering is enacted and performed within UK football and how these processes are related to issues of power, agency and identity in Britain today. Employing the concepts of collective memory and spectacle, this article argues that ‘memory entrepreneurs’ have sought to embed football as ‘site of memory’ in the performance of military commemoration. It concludes that this has contributed to the transformation of military commemoration, from a ritual that is observed to a spectacle that is consumed. This paper thus contributes to emergent debates on the militarization of civilian space, the shifting nature of civil–military relations in the twenty-first century, and the role of military remembrance in the reproduction of Britishness.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of War & Culture Studies
Early online date1 Jun 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Jun 2021

Bibliographical note

© 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non- commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in
any way.


  • Remembrance
  • commemoration
  • football
  • nationalism
  • memory entrepreneurs
  • collective memory
  • spectacle


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