Described as 'without exception, the best player of the day', Kinnaird played in nine FA Cup finals (still a record), represented Scotland and was President of the Football Association for 33 years. He was involved in the game all his life and was so highly regarded that he was presented with the FA Cup in gratitude.
Kinnaird is now famous again thanks to the Netflix series, which sees him and the Old Etonians pitted against Fergus Suter's Darwen team. The teams met in a titanic FA Cup clash in 1879, and although the Etonians won that one, it gave the first indication that football was about to change for ever, thanks to the influx of players from Scotland, the 'Scotch professors', who introduced the passing game to England.
I was asked to be a consultant Football Historian for The English Game, and was able to give advice on various aspects such as style of play. The series has been a long time in the making, and the first I knew about it was way back in 2007. Since then, I have published my Kinnaird biography, and have also written extensively on Fergie Suter and Jimmy Love, the two pioneers who moved from Partick to Darwen in 1878.
This new revised edition of First Lord of Football has additional material which has come to light in the past decade, and a number of new images. It is on sale on Amazon for £8.99, and there is also a Kindle edition at £3.99.
I also have several pages on this website devoted to Kinnaird, which provide an introduction to this football legend, who 'did more to popularise soccer than any man who ever lived'.
I'm often asked where my cover image comes from. It was on the front of one of the earliest football books ever published, by Routledge in 1867, and I am lucky enough to have one in my own collection. Although the prominent man on the cover is not identified, there is little doubt in my mind that it could be based on Arthur Kinnaird, complete with bushy beard and long white trousers, and of course in control of the ball.