Football was a popular sport played on Earth. A team game, the object was to advance a ball, called "a football", into the opposing team's net or goal. A single individual stood within the goal and defended it against attack when the opposing team attempted to kick the ball into the net. As the name implied, the ball was typically advanced with the feet.
The Doctor and football Edit
As a player Edit
The Doctor had some personal experience playing the game.
The Second Doctor once played "keepy-uppy" with a football in the TARDIS' control room and all-time record was five but however, the football hit the control console and hit the harmonic resonator. (AUDIO: The Apocalypse Mirror)
During World War I, the Ninth Doctor and Rose Tyler participated in a German/English football match on the front lines at Christmas in 1914. (COMIC: The Forgotten) The Fifth Doctor also visited a battlefield during the Christmas truce and observed a similar football match with Edward Woodbourne. (PROSE: Never Seen Cairo)Eleventh Doctor played football with Craig Owens for his pub's team, the King's Arms, in Colchester in 2010. Oddly, this time the Doctor seemed unfamiliar with the game. He asked Amy Pond if it was "the sport with the sticks." Despite this, he proved to be an excellent player, winning the game almost single-handedly, much to the displeasure of Craig. (TV: The Lodger) While spending "about an hour" being busy while Amy and Rory Williams watched the Shakri cubes that had just arrived, playing football with himself in their garden was one of several activities that he did to keep busy. (TV: The Power of Three)
As a spectator Edit
The First Doctor had an unpleasant brush with the World Cup. A "Blessing Star" buried by Susan at I.M. Foreman's junkyard in 1963 was found by a rag and bone man in 1966. After defeating WOTAN, the Doctor took advantage of being in London again by trying to find the alien jewel. Unfortunately for the Doctor, the man was using it while watching the 1966 World Cup Finals. Somehow, the thoughts of all of England focused through the Star. Though the Star helped England get a crucial goal over Germany, it exploded because it overloaded. The Doctor was highly displeased to have lost the jewel over the match. (PROSE: The Rag & Bone Man's Story)
The Fifth Doctor, though obviously a bigger fan of cricket, was at least a conversant fan of the sport. Soon after meeting her in Lanzarote, he took Peri to the 1936 FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium. There, they watched Arsenal take on Sheffield United. The Doctor tried to educate the young American in the sport of football. (PROSE: The Church of Football)
His eighth incarnation was a positive fan of the sport. He once got involved with a mystery at the stadium of Delchester United that involved star Roy Hobbs. After solving that mystery, he happily set down in the stadium and enthusiastically cheered United on, even joining in with the typical human use of a football rattle. (COMIC: Doctor Who and the Nightmare Game) On another occasion, and much to Charley's disdain, the Eighth Doctor enthused over Italy's 3-1 World Cup victory over Germany and briefly joined in the public celebrations in the Italian village of Ferrara. Unbeknownst to the revellers, however, Ferrara (and the world beyond) was being invaded by the Threllips. As part of the subterfuge to end the invasion, the Doctor convinced the Threllip that the jubilation in Ferrara was actually a sign of an illness called "World Cup Fever", to which the Threllips were also susceptible. (AUDIO: Living Legend) He also once claimed encyclopaedic knowledge of Liverpool F.C., and lamented the dismal quality of the 2013-2014 squad. (AUDIO: The Next Life)
The Ninth Doctor admitted wearily to Mickey Smith that the TARDIS scanner could tune into football matches. (TV: Aliens of London) Mickey, in fact was a big fan of the sport. He suggested to Rose Tyler after Henrik's blew up that they go to a pub. Only when pressed did he admit to wanting to go there because there was a match on. (TV: Rose)
The Eleventh Doctor wasn't just a proficient player, but also a bit of a fan. He once took Amy Pond and Rory Williams to England's 1966 World Cup victory, but the TARDIS deposited them at Wembley Stadium — several centuries in the past. The trio learned about the Viking history of Wemble's Lea before finally getting the TARDIS to take them to the game. (COMIC: They Think It's All Over) At another point in his timeline, the Eleventh Doctor and Rory attended a football game at the Leadworth Football Club. The Doctor was bored by the match because it lacked jetpacks and there were no women on the teams. The Doctor used his sonic screwdriver on the referee's glasses, causing him to be able to see every football game in the galaxy. Rory was mortified and wanted to leave, but the Doctor insisted the game just got interesting. (COMIC: Bow-ties for Goal Posts)
In 2030, Scotland played England in the World Cup final in Wembley Stadium, with the Eleventh Doctor calling it "one of the greatest football matches in history!" He meant to take Amy Pond here, but instead they ended up on a space station. (COMIC: Apotheosis)
Football and humanity Edit
Football was popular among the general population, specifically males, and notably in the United Kingdom. (TV: Rose) It was not always played professionally, as K9 found out when a number of youths began kicking a football at him in the streets. In response he stunned several of them and set the football alight with his photon beam. (PROSE: The Old Rogue) Indeed, football was often an extra-curricular activity provided by schools like Park Vale Comprehensive School. Sarah Jane and Clyde once interviewed Steve Wallace about clowns, while he was practising on the school's football pitch. (TV: The Day of the Clown)
As a teenager, Alan Ellis loved football. His father John Ellis bought him a football annual for his son Alan Ellis for Christmas 1953. However, he was unable to do so due to his disappearance on 18 December. (TV: Out of Time)
Behind the scenes Edit
- Matt Smith himself planned to be a football player at a young age, but a back injury made this impossible.
- The premiere broadcast of The Lodger, in which the Doctor plays football, was two days into the FIFA World Cup 2010. As the episode finished, the first England/USA match started on ITV.
- It is possible that the Doctor deleted the knowledge of football at some point prior to The Lodger, the same way he claimed to have deleted sign language. Or he may simply have been lying because he knew how Craig would feel about his skills.