University of Huddersfield Logo

 Dr Robert Light | 01484 478408


Rob graduated from St John’s University York with a degree in History with American Studies in 1997. He then studied at the International Centre for Sport History and Culture, De Montfort University, gaining an MA in Sport History and Culture in 2002 and completing his PhD thesis Cricket’s Forgotten Past: A Social and cultural History of the Game in the West Riding of Yorkshire in 2008. He began working at the University of Huddersfield in 2004 as a research assistant at the on the HLF funded Calderdale and Kirklees Cricket Heritage Project and managed the University’s ‘Up and Under’ Rugby League Oral History Project between 2006 and 2009. He also taught on the Sports Journalism undergraduate course between 2008 and 2010 and was appointed Research Fellow in the School of Media and Journalism in August 2011.

Research & Scholarship

Rob’s research interests are centred around the social and cultural history of sport and recreation in 18th, 19th and 20th century Britain. The main focus of his work is on cricket and rugby league, setting the development of these sports in their broader historical context. His PhD studies and subsequent writing have explored issues such as class, recreational culture, and social and economic change in the emerging context of industrial capitalist society in eighteenth and nineteenth century Britain. Through his work on the ‘Up and Under’ rugby League oral history project he became a member of the University of Huddersfield’s Centre for Oral History Research, and developed further interests in the social and cultural history of the game, especially in relation to issues such as communal identity and social class, as well as the relationship between memory, historical meaning and the imagined community.

Publications and Other Research Outputs


Webster, W., Light, R. and Martin, J. (2015) Mixing it: Diversity in Second World War Britain [Dataset]


Light, R (2013) ‘Ordinary working men...transformed into giants on the rugby field': Individual and Collective Memory in Oral Histories of Rugby League.International Journal of the History of Sport , 30 (1), pp. 65-82. ISSN 0952-3367


Light, R (2011) ‘Cricket in the Eighteenth Century’. In: The Cambridge Companion to Cricket. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 26-40. ISBN 9780521167871


Light, R (2010) ‘A ‘strange...absurd...and somewhat injurious influence’? Cricket, professional Coaching in the Public Schools and the “Gentleman Amateur” EthosSport in History , 30 (1), pp. 8-31. ISSN 1746-0263


Light, R (2009) ‘‘In a Yorkshire Like Way’: Cricket and the Construction of Regional Identity in Nineteenth-century YorkshireSport in History , 29 (3), pp. 500-518. ISSN 1746-0263

Light, R (2009) ‘‘Ordinary Working Men’: Professional Rugby League Players and Full Time Employment Outside the Game.’. In: Sport and Oral History Conference, 3rd - 4th April 2009, University of Huddersfield


Light, R (2007) The 'Up and Under' rugby league oral history project website. Available at:


Davies, P. and Light, R. (2006) 180 not out: a pictorial history of cricket in Halifax, Huddersfield, Dewsbury and district - Calderdale . Newbury: Sigma. ISBN 1-905291-04-3

Davies, P. and Light, R. (2006) 180 not out: a pictorial history of cricket in Halifax, Huddersfield, Dewsbury and district - South Kirklees . Newbury: Sigma. ISBN 1-905291-06-X

Davies, P. and Light, R. (2006) 180 not out: a pictorial history of cricket in Halifax, Huddersfield, Dewsbury and district - North Kirklees . Newbury: Sigma. ISBN 1-905291-05-1


Light, R (2005) ‘‘Ten Drunks and a Parson’?: The Victorian Professional Cricketer ReconsideredSport in History , 25 (1), pp. 60-76. ISSN 1746-0263

Research Degree Supervision

History of leisure and recreational culture Sport History and Culture Community oral history

Last updated Tuesday 16 June 2015
Thank you for your feedback.

Your feedback has been sent to the University Web/Digital Marketing Team.

The awards winner 2012, 13, 14, 15
University of the year 2013
QS 4 Star Logo
Athena Swan Bronze Award

VAT registration number 516 3101 90

All rights reserved ©