You might not think Victorian football would make good TV, but this period drama successfully combines history with Britain's national sport. Set in northern England and based on a true story, we are shown how the FA Cup was forced to turn professional.
The English Game opens in 1879, when upper-class gentlemen take on the boys from the mill, kicking off a class war to claim footie for all.
Discover The English Game filming locations here.
The English Game was filmed in part at historic Broughton Hall, near Skipton in the Yorkshire Dales. This stately home dates from 1597 and is set in 3,000 acres of countryside. The mansion standing today is a neoclassical Grade I-listed manor house.
Interior locations for the elite society events were shot in the main hall of the house and in several of the restored period properties on the estate. Exteriors show ponds, rivers, woods and outstanding landscapes, plus some farmsteads and estate buildings.
The working-class mill town in The English Game was Saltaire. This UNESCO World Heritage site lies on the River Aire near Shipley, Bradford and is named after its owner and builder, Sir Titus Salt. Several scenes were filmed at the historic Salts Mill. Shops on Victoria Road were transformed into traditional Victorian grocers, butchers and bakers.
The upper-class housing and trade scenes in The English Game were filmed in the Little Germany district of Bradford, including Cater Street. This preserved historic area was where the city's merchants, many of whom came from Germany, plied their trades. It features a collection of 85 neoclassical buildings, dating from 1855 to 1890, and is a designated UNESCO site. Bradford City Hall was also used for the show.
The Georgian Quarter of Liverpool has some splendid Grade II-listed houses. These were used for scenes set in London's Mayfair. Several other streets in the city centre also stand in for historic London. Interiors for the London HQ of the Football Association in the 1880s were shot at Croxteth Hall, a heritage country park on the outskirts of Liverpool.
The Old Etonians played the Lancashire mill workers in the 1883 FA Cup final. Although this took place historically in south London at the Kennington Oval, it was filmed in the grounds of the Grade II-listed Stamford Park. On the borders of Lancashire and Cheshire, in Altrincham, Greater Manchester, Stamford is one of the first specially designated public parks for sports.
The local football club at Stoneclough was used for most of the football match scenes.
The gentry in The English Game are represented by the Old Etonians, multiple cup finalists in real Victorian life. A filmed match between this team of Eton alumni and Darwen FC has a backdrop of Eton's college chapel.
Railway sequences were filmed on this five-mile-long heritage railway and its historic station.