The Beautiful Game
The Beautiful Game is a nickname for association football. First said by the Brazilian footballer Pelé. Football commentator Stuart Hall is the only individual to have claimed to have coined "The Beautiful Game". In his youth, Hall admired Peter Doherty when he went to see Manchester City play at Maine Road and used the term "The Beautiful Game" to describe Doherty's style when playing. Consequently, he used the term "The Beautiful Game" in his commentary career later on in life which popularised the phrase.
The exact origins of the term are disputed. The origin has been attributed to Brazilian footballer Waldyr Pereira (Didi), and the presenter Stuart Hall claimed to have originated it in 1958. The English author and football fanatic H. E. Bates used the term earlier, including in a 1952 newspaper piece extolling the virtues of the game entitled "Brains in the Feet".
In 1977 the famous footballer Pelé named his autobiography My Life and the Beautiful Game. The book's dedication reads "I dedicate this book to all the people who have made this great game the Beautiful Game." The phrase has now entered the language as a colourful description for football and as such was used as part of the title for the 13-part series charting the history of the game: History of Football: The Beautiful Game.
The term echoes J. C. Thring's description of the rules he helped develop for football in the middle of the 19th century, as The Simplest Game, which led to the development of the rules of association football. Nike uses the Portuguese phrase Joga bonito—meaning "play beautifully", and not "beautiful game", which would be Jogo bonito—as one of its slogans for association football products.
- Harper, Nick (2 May 2003). "Stuart Hall". guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 24 April 2011. "The player I fell in love with and who inspired me to coin the phrase "the beautiful game" was Peter Doherty, an inside forward, my first hero."
- Brian Moore (15 July 2010). "South Africa World Cup besmirched 'beautiful’ game". The Telegraph. Retrieved 18 May 2012.
- Hall, S; Mayo, S: The Daily Mayo, 06 May 2009, BBC Radio 5 Live
- Bates, H. E. (November 16, 1952). "The Sunday Times". p. 4.
- Catlin, George (1848). Notes of eight year's travels and residence in Europe.... p. 119.
- Heathcote, John Moyer; Edward Oliver Pleydell-Bouverie, Arthur Campbell Ainger (1890). Tennis. p. 10.
- Pelé, Robert L. Fish, Shep Messing (2007). My Life and the Beautiful Game: The Autobiography of Pelé. p. v. ISBN 9781602391963.