This book looks at how sport lost its Corinthian spirit and why big business and politicians jumped on the band wagon. Nurtured on the playing fields of the English public school and in the pages of Tom Brown’s Schooldays – the ‘Corinthian spirit’ of sport was exported around the world. The importance of fairness, the nobility of the gifted amateur and competitive spirit encapsulated everything good about the British.
Today, sport is dominated by corruption, money, celebrity and players willing to dive in the box to win a penalty. It has been used to glorify dictatorships and was central to cold war diplomacy. The Rugby World Cup victory was essential to Nelson Mandela’s hopes for the Rainbow Nation.
Mihir Bose’s lifelong involvement in sport enables him to show how the original spirit has gone, becoming instead the most powerful political tool in the world. Examples include how a German manufacturer’s gift of a pair of shoes to Jesse Owens at the 1936 Berlin games led to dominance in the world of sport; how India stole cricket from the MCC; and who really sold out football.