Sport History Unit



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Members of the Sport History Unit have been involved in the publication of a large number of works focussing on a diverse range of sport history-related research.

Click here for a list of the publications by Rob Hess. 

Click here for a list of publications by Matthew Klugman.

Details of books published by members of the Sport History Unit are listed below.


Rob Hess and Matthew Klugman (comp.), A History of Sport and Physical Education: Ancient and Modern Perspectives, First Edition.

Published by McGraw-Hill, 2010.

Details to follow.




Matthew Klugman, Passion Play.


From the blurb: 'There’s something about Australian Rules football that drives people towards madness. Something that produces great pain and joy and an insatiable hunger for more.  Passion Play journeys into the world of footy mania and the love and suffering at its heart. Drawing on the experiences of a diverse set of fans who’ve told their stories in interviews, books, articles, and on footy websites and blogs it follows the annual quest for the premiership in all its horror and glory.  Matthew Klugman brings footy’s seasonal rhythm of love, hope, and heartbreak to life. The hope and nerves of the pre-season, the stress of matches, the sweetness of victory and the dull ache of defeat. Then come the finals with their agonising tension and tragic losses. The ecstasy of the premiership promises to make all the pain and suffering worthwhile but there can be a danger, too, in getting your heart’s desire.  Tales of ordinary football madness sit alongside insights from the worlds of religion and psychology. Love and hate, hope and anxiety, ecstasy and agony and those moments of unbearable tension where it seems, for an instant, that nothing else matters'.


Gordon Preece and Rob Hess (eds)

Sport and Spirituality

Published by Australian Theological Press, 2009


Click here to see the table of contents or purchase a copy of Sport and Spirituality








Rob Hess, Matthew Nicholson, Bob Stewart and Gregory de Moore

A National Game: The History of Australian Rules Football

Published by Penguin/Viking, 2008


Joint winner of the Australian Society for Sports History Book Award 2009.  Click here to read the citation by the chair of the award panel.


What the reviewers had to say:


'A National Game: The History of Australian Rules Football has not received the publicity afforded other works, but it is nevertheless a project of quality and substance that provides insight into what makes the game tick ... it is an engaging and enlightening book'.  Russell Holmesby, Inside Football, vol. 38, no. 36, 17 Dec. - 07 Feb., 2009, p. 33.


'A National Game seeks to chart all aspects of the history of the game - economic, social, political - as well as documenting the more familiar stories, personalities and events that have become iconic.  It draws on the growing scholarship in the field of football history and brings this scholarship together in a book that is both comprehensible and packed with information and statistics, while also providing a highly readable narrative ... The book is a significant achievement in drawing together several disparate themes into one volume of scholarship and points to future directions for research'.  Joy Damousi, Victorian Historical Journal, vol. 80, no. 1, June 2009, pp. 121-23.


Click here to purchase a copy of A National Game.


Matthew Nicholson, Bob Stewart and Rob Hess (eds)

Football Fever: Moving the Goalposts

Published by Maribyrnong Press, 2006


Click here to see the table of contents or purchase a copy of Football Fever: Moving the Goalposts.







Rob Hess, Matthew Nicholson and Bob Stewart (eds)

Football Fever: Crossing Boundaries

Published by Maribyrnong Press, 2005


Click here to see the table of contents or purchase a copy of Football Fever: Crossing Boundaries.







Bob Stewart, Rob Hess and Matthew Nicholson (eds)

Football Fever: Grassroots

Published by Maribyrnong Press, 2004


Click here to see the table of contents or purchase a copy of Football Fever: Grassroots.








Rob Hess and Bob Stewart (eds)

More Than a Game: An Unauthorised History of Australian Rules Football

Published by Melbourne University Press, 1998











This website page was last updated on 03 September 2010