A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from June 29, 2014
The Beautiful Game (soccer)

Brazilian soccer star eléP titled his autobiography, My Life and The Beautiful Game: The Autobiography of Pelé (1977). Pelé popularized “The Beautiful Game,” but there have been some claims of coinage from the 1950s.

“O jogo bonito” ("the beautiful game") had been used in Brazilian soccer by at least the early 1970s.


Wikipedia: The Beautiful Game
The Beautiful Game (Portuguese: o jogo bonito) is a nickname for association football, first said by the Brazilian footballer Pelé, although 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.

Etymology
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”.

Google Books
O Cruzeiro: revista semanal ilustrada
Volume 42
1970
Pg. 62:
O nôvo espirito da capoeira, de confraternização e solidariedade, está retratado na chula que diz: “Joga bonito que eu quero aprender”.
(The new spirit of capoeira, fellowship and solidarity, is portrayed in the foul that says “Play beautiful I want to learn.")

Google Books
12 June 1970, Playcar magazine, pg. 29:
Logo depois nossos artistas iriam mostrar quanto é grande nosso futebol, capaz de emocionar milhões de pessoas em apenas noventa minutos. m jogo bonito do começo ao fim, sem violência, com muita malícia, dribles e gois.
(Soon after our artists would show how great our football, able to thrill millions of people in only ninety minutes is. m beautiful game from beginning to end without violence, with much malice, trickery and gois.)

Google Books
9 October 1970, Playcar magazine, pg. 7:
Este foi um jogo bonito, livre.
(This was a beautiful game, free.)

Google Books
29 January 1971, Playcar magazine, pg. 14:
Faz muitos gois. Joga bonito.
(For many gois. Playing cute )

OCLC WorldCat record
My life and the beautiful game : the autobiography of Pelé
Author: Pelé; Robert L Fish
Publisher: Garden City, N.Y. : Doubleday, 1977.
Edition/Format: Book : Biography : English : 1st ed

OCLC WorldCat record
The Beautiful Game? An Econometric Study of Why People Watch English Football
Author: T Kuypers
Edition/Format: Article Article : Original Language
Publication: DISCUSSION PAPER- UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LONDON DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMICS, no. 1, (1996): ALL
Database: British Library Serials

OCLC WorldCat record
Soccer : the ultimate guide to the beautiful game
Author: Clive Gifford
Publisher: New York : Kingfisher, 2002.
Edition/Format: Book : Juvenile audience : English

OCLC WorldCat record
The world encyclopedia of football : a complete guide to the beautiful game
Author: Tom MacDonald
Publisher: London : Lorenz, 2004.
Edition/Format: Book : English : Updated ed

The Telegraph (UK)
Brian Moore: South Africa World Cup besmirched ‘beautiful’ game
Both Valdir Pereira, the former Brazil midfielder also known as Didi, and Stuart Hall claim authorship of the now hackneyed description of football as “the beautiful game”.

7:30AM BST 15 Jul 2010
Whoever was truly the originator did football a great service because this phrase is now used to mask all manner of ills.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CitySports/Games • Sunday, June 29, 2014 • Permalink