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Conor Heffernan

Conor is a recent graduate History and Political Science graduate with an interest in health and football. He has been a long-suffering Leeds United fan since the late 1990s but as always remains optimistic for next season!

The Rise And Fall Of Leeds City

Given the recent troubled times of Yorkshire-based clubs, it should come as no surprise that football has always been a bittersweet thing in the region. This is none more so true than in the case of Leeds. Long before Leeds United made headlines for overpaying players, eccentric chairmen and bouncing through the divisions, there was another side in Leeds. They …

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The Bloody Beginnings of the Intercontinental Cup

It was meant to unite football all over the world. But the Intercontinental Cup was born into a violent existence.    From 1960 to 2004 UEFA and their counterparts in South America were responsible for the Intercontinental Cup, an annual tournament that pitted the winners of the European Champion Clubs’ Cup against the winners of the Copa Libertadores. In part …

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War, Politics and Football: Saarland Versus West Germany

War and politics separated a small region of German from the rest after WWII. Sport was meant to give the new region a sense of being. It did anything but.    When the qualification round was drawn for the 1954 World Cup, French and German diplomats looked worriedly at each other. At a time when Europe was trying to move …

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Boxing: Joe Louis Versus the Nazis

It was only two minutes and four seconds ‘Fore Schmeling was down on his knees He looked like he was praying to the good Lord To ‘Have mercy on me, please.’                                     –     Bill Gaither, 1938 June 22, 1938 and over 70,000 …

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Premier League: Looking Back At The 02/03 January Transfer Window

January 2003 saw the Premier League’s first foray into January transfers. Twelve years on, we examine the best and worst signings of the first ever January transfer window.    The January transfer window is a frenzy filled period. It is a time when Sky Sports kicks into overdrive, gossip columns become even more ludicrous and all of us develop an opinion about …

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Djalminha: The Man who would be King

Djalminha could have had it all and very nearly did. One of the hottest talents to come out of Brazil in the 1990s, sadly his legacy is now marred. Conor Heffernan explains all.   In the 1999/2000 La Liga season, Deportivo de La Coruña travelled to the Santiago Bernabéu in a must win game against Real Madrid. Deportivo had begun …

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Sports Startup Of The Week: Orca Health

Meet the new companies changing how we play sport. This week we focus on medical app Orca Health. For many, injury is part and parcel of the sport they play. From elite athlete to the Sunday League amateur, everyone faces the same risk of a prolonged period away from the sport. Anyone who has been unfortunate enough to spend a …

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Hands Off, He’s Ours – Pelé & The Brazilian Government

Ever wondered why Pelé never left Brazil in his prime? Conor Heffernan gives us a fascinating insight into Brazilian politics’ hold on the country’s star footballer.  Edson Arantes do Nascimento, or Pelé to you and me, is perhaps the greatest known name in world soccer. And for good reason too. During the course of a career that spanned over two …

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FC Saarbrücken In 1948: A German Club Team in France

In the aftermath of the Second World War, Europe and European football was in disarray. Nations had fallen, nations had been created and regions had been annexed. Today we look at the story of the Saarland, a German region, annexed by France following WWII. This is the story of FC Saarbrücken, who briefly played in the French Second Division. Rather than …

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Football At The 1908 Olympics: Goals, Gold & Great Britain

1896 saw the Modern Olympic games officially kick-off in Greece. The games were a seminal moment in international sporting history and their legacy lives on. Imagine if Pierre de Coubertin had given up on his Olympic dream? Imagine a world without stars such as Muhammad Ali or Usain Bolt? It’s an unsettling thought. The first Olympic games were a landmark …

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The ‘Beautiful Game’ & The Race Issue In Brazil

England may have created football but Brazil made it an art form, writes Conor Heffernan. Since the arrival of football in the South American country at the turn of the 20th century, Brazil have won eight Copa Americas and five World Cups. In doing so they have captured the hearts of millions of football fans and created a template for …

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England’s Greatest Manager: The Jimmy Hogan Story

“We played football as Jimmy Hogan taught us. When our football history is told, his name should be written in gold letters.”   Gustav Sebes, Hungary coach 1949-57  Hungary 6 – England 3. We’ve all heard the story of the Mighty Magyars going to London in 1953 and defeating England at Wembley. We’ve all heard of how Puskás, Bozsik and Higegkuti …

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Malcolm Allison And The Revolution Of English Football

Malcolm Allison revolutionised football in the way he approached new training methods, not only in his playing days but also as a manager, Conor Heffernan takes a look back at the changes Allison made to the game. Playboy, character or revolutionary? Rarely are such terms used to describe the same person but that is what made Malcolm Alexander Allison such an …

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English Football During WW2

Conor Heffernan takes an in depth look back at how English football was structured during World War Two.   “We shall play on the beaches, we shall play on the landing grounds, we shall play in the fields and in the streets, we shall play in the hills…” Winston Churchill…Kind of The years 1939 to 1945 were a time of great …

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The Controversial Case of Israel & International Football

Israel top Group B in their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign. But why don’t they play in the AFC with the rest of the Middle East? Well the thing is, they did before. Conor Heffernan explains all.  Why do Israel play in Europe? It’s a simple question but one that’s emotionally and politically loaded. Bordering Lebanon in the north, Syria in …

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Sports Startup of the Week: Kitman Labs

In the first of a new series on startups in sport, Conor Heffernan caught up with the team at Kitman Labs to gain an insight into their extraordinary work.   Injuries don’t just cost teams victories they cost them money. Last year it’s estimated that across Major League Baseball, teams spent $665 million on salaries of injured players and their replacements. NBA …

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The 21 Stereotypical Football Managers

What type of manager are you? At one point or another we’ve all gotten notions about managing a football team. For some of us, we fulfill our dreams in FIFA or Football Manager. For others it’s a conversation about tactics in the local.   1. The Wheeler Dealer You know what players are available on a deal and at what …

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