Footballers United

An interactive story based on the Pals Battalions from World War One

From the top of the league to mired in the trenches – Footballers United is the astonishing true story of how Scotland’s top footballers gave up an unassailable league lead to fight in World War One. It’s also the story of how women’s lives changed forever in the space of four years: their clothes, hair, and lifestyles transformed. A seamless yoking of technology, design and writing in the service of storytelling, it combines a World War One drama and archive material in a way never seen before.

Footballers United is a poignant and unique window into early 20th Century Edinburgh: a community and characters torn apart by the outbreak of World War One. It’s a story of how Scottish professional football was used to bring fans and friends to the front, and about the women who stayed behind, worked, became independent and even took their place on the pitch – only to face a 50 year football ban.

Every element of the story (and the archive material that inspired it) can be shared online. An interactive timeline that knits everything together – archive content such as photos and documents, and original video.

For a more personal experience you can sign in via Facebook mapping the events to your own social graph; showing how your friends would have fared throughout the war.

In 2015 Footballer’s United won the prestigious Prix Italia for Best Digital Storytelling.