woensdag 27 augustus 2014

The (Missing) Link Between the English League Cup and Charles Darwin

A short reflection on football and Darwinian history

Big shock in the English League Cup this week: Manchester United suffered a humiliating defeat (4-0) against Milton Keynes, a club from the third division. But my eye was caught by a more obscure result, Leicester City (newcomer in the Premier League this season) lost 0-1 against Shrewsbury Town (playing in the fourth division!). The only goal of the match was scored by Andy Magan.

Why did this match trigger my senses? Because Shrewsbury is the birthplace of none other than Charles Darwin! Here is a short paragraph from 'The Darwin Family and their Plants at The Mount in Shrewsbury' by Peter Boyd (2006):

"Charles Darwin was born in Shrewsbury on 12th February 1809. His birthplace was a house called 'The Mount' that was built by his father, Dr Robert Darwin, in an elevated position overlooking the town. Charles spent his childhood in Shrewsbury but left it to attend university from 1825-1831 and for his voyage on 'The Beagle' 1831-1836. However, Shrewsbury remained his home and it was Shrewsbury and his family to which he returned between terms from university and after his great voyage. Although he spent most of the rest of his life living in London and Kent, he continued to visit Shrewsbury until his father's death in 1848 and, much later, on a memorable occasion in 1869 - three years after the death of his sister Susan in 1866 and the subsequent sale of The Mount."

Darwin's Birthplace: The Mount in Shewsbury
Unfortunately, Darwin never saw Shrewsbury Town in action, because the club was founded 4 years after his death. I wonder if old Charles would have enjoyed a good game of football...?

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