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FA research reveals a nation in thrall to


More than half of football fans think about football

at least once every minute, according to a new

research paper to be published today.

Commissioned by The Football Association to

mark Sir Bobby Robson National Football Day,

which takes place this weekend on Saturday 10

August, the research shows that 63% of football

fans said that football was their main topic of


Nine out of 10 (94%) admitted they plan their

year around the football season with 89% booking

holidays around football so they don’t miss a

game. A further 91% said they have cancelled

plans such as attending a wedding or a birthday

party because of football.

More than half (52%) of football fans admitted

that they think about football more than food,

and a further 50% said they thought about

football more than work. Nearly one in five of

those polled (19%) admit to checking on football

news and updates every minute.

59% get direct alerts sent to their phone or email

and 65% will immediately talk to their friends

about breaking football news. Two thirds (66%)

revealed that football is the first thing they talk

about with their colleagues on a Monday morning,

and 66% said that football gossip is the ultimate

‘small talk’.

Over half (57%) of football fans experience

withdrawal symptoms in the summer months

after the season ends, and 53% admit the start of

the football season is the event they most look

forward to in the year.

52% said that summer transfers are the only

source of pleasure during the close season, with

41% of footie fans playing more in the summer

months to make up for not watching. 50%

revealed that the start of the football season is

the point in the year when they feel the happiest,

and 53% the most optimistic.

Nearly a third (60%) revealed that football offers

them a strong social network, with 58% admitting

the friends made through football were their

closest, and 61% their most enduring. 68% said

that football is a common ground for people who

are otherwise very different, and 65% that

football instils a sense of community in people.

The research was released ahead of The FA’s Sir

Bobby Robson National Football Day on 10

August. As part of The FA’s 150th anniversary

celebrations The FA are encouraging the nation to

get out and play football this Saturday 10th

August – with 150 organised events around the

country. Events will be taking place from a

grassroots club in Moorside, Manchester, a brand

new sports facility in Lewisham, London, and the

home of Sir Bobby Robson, in Ushaw Moor at The

Bobby Robson Centre. For a full list of events and

to see how you can take part visit


A spokesperson from The Football

Association said: “Our research shows just how

much football infiltrates our daily lives and how,

at this time of the year, the nation really does get

football fever. The Sir Bobby Robson National

Football Day is the perfect opportunity for

everyone, whatever age or skill, to get involved in

the game – whether at one of our 150 organised

events or simply kicking a ball around in their

local park”.


Most people would probably agree lol

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