Football officially recognised central to English culture & society

Manchester’s National Football Museum has been awarded official Designation by the Arts Council – the first time a sporting collection has been granted this status. The unparalleled collection of football history at the museum has been officially recognised for its significant collection of football history by the Designation scheme.Objects including the winning ball from the 1966 World Cup and a shirt from the world’s first international football match in 1872 have now been formally recognised for their historic and cultural importance.

National Football Museum’s Deputy Director and Head of Collections, David Pearson said: ‘We are truly proud that our outstanding collection has won Designation status. Not only are we the only sporting collection to win such an honour but it also endorses our view that football heritage is central to English culture and modern society.’

About the Arts Council’s Designation scheme

The Designation scheme identifies the pre-eminent collections of national and international importance held by England’s museums, libraries and archives (outside the governmental national institutions). These inspiring collections represent a vital part of our national cultural and artistic heritage.

Scott Furlong, Director of the Acquisitions, Exports, Loans and Collections Unit, Arts Council England, said: ‘The fact that the National Football Museum has been awarded Designation is testament to just how significant their collection is. The ‘beautiful game’ does not just affect sports fans, but also plays a far wider role in our national culture, and it is right that the unique and important items that form the National Football Museum’s collections are recognised in such a way.’

Useful links and further information

Find out more about the work of the National Football Museum.

See more information about the Arts Council’s Designation scheme.

Follow the Arts Council and the National Football Museum on Twitter.

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