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Matt McGinn

History, University of Nottingham

Thesis title:

Turcos y Portugueses: An oral history of 'national' identity, regionalism, and football in Galicia

My thesis uses oral history methodology to consider the relationship between regionalism, identity, and football in Galicia (north-west Spain) from 1977 to 2004. This period saw a marked rise in support for the Bloque Nacionalista Galego – a coalition of left-wing nationalist parties. This coincided with the most successful spells in the history of Deportivo La Coruña and Celta Vigo – Galicia’s biggest football teams – making it an interesting period to analyse the role of football as a source of Galician collective identification.

The relevance of this research lies in the importance of regionalism and regional identity to Spanish politics since the restoration of democracy in 1977. Recent events in Catalonia, as well as growing separatist demands in other European countries, highlight the importance of understanding autonomist and separatist movements, and the identities that underpin them. My research seeks to contribute to these debates by providing a fresh perspective on Galeguismo (Galicianism) and how it is articulated, ritualised, and identified with partisan support of local football.


Research Area

  • History


  • McGinn, M., Never, Ever, Have I Felt So Good: The Rise of Icelandic Football (De Coubertin, forthcoming in 2020).
  • McGinn, M., 'The Oving and District Villages Cup is the oldest soccer tournament you’ve never heard of', Howler, 6/10/2017. Available here.
  • McGinn, M., 'Retracing the steps of Milan founder Herbert Kilpin with his long-lost relatives', The Guardian, 2/3/2017. Available here.