The history of the utilization of leisure for the working class as we know it today begun as an 18th century phenomenon first in England then spread to the whole Europe and the Americas. Before then leisure time was time reserved for the upper class. The first sporting code to have developed mass appeal thus influencing thousands of people was soccer.
It was around late 1800s during the booming of the industrial revolution that there was political concern for the health of ordinary people who worked hard in factories. In the 1880s, churches, schools and industries all agreed that the best thing working class boys and men could do on Saturday was to play ball games.
The next thing was to watch other boys and men play ball games. So through the 1800 literally thousands of sport clubs were founded by church organizations, trade unions, factories, railway workshops. Some of the most successful English soccer clubs started this way. The great Manchester United soccer club was founded in 1878 as Newton Heath LYR Football Club. Liverpool soccer club was founded in 1892. Arsenal soccer club in 1886.
But the greatest interest for sporting activity came from schools. After 1870 English towns had an educational system that drew all local schools to competitions. People were also paying to see teams play in new grounds; some of these grounds were grand with covered stands provided by the local authorities. The literacy generated in the schools helped people to read newspapers that provided a lot of coverage of sports matches. Many people read newspapers just for the sport pages as they do today.
As the euphoria of games catching on – the commercial spinoffs became increasingly important. Sport games sold papers but it also sold special equipments; jerseys, shorts, boats and tonics to boast and strengthen the players. There was medicine developed to rub on sore muscles. There was beer to console people when the teams they support lost in a match. This was an era that is called Fin de si?cle.
But the interest in sport (that is Fin de si?cle) reached further than that. The post and telegraph were important for setting national schedules for matches and bring the news of match results. Trains transportation grew in importance to moving a large number of fans following their clubs as they play to other cities. Special fares were instituted in trains during cup finals. These cup finals drew more than hundreds of thousands of fans in the late 1800.