Amanda Jane PR

11 May 2010, London Sunday's (9 May) 'Philosophers' Football Match,' a real life re-staging of the classic 1972 Monty Python sketch where ancient Greek philosophers battled it out with various 19th century German thinkers, saw a decisive 'German' victory over their ancient rivals, the 'Greeks'.

In a game marked by more false moves than a first year's logic proof, the Germans beat all the odds – including even their own uneven argumentation – to triumph over their grudge rivals, the Greeks, in a 3-1 drubbing.

"Some people say philosophy is reason in tweeds. On this evidence, football is philosophy in a jockstrap," noted one disgruntled set of fans – not believed to be from Neasden.

The comic 'grudge' fixture of 'Socrates Wanderers' (the luckless Greeks) versus 'Nietzsche Albion' (the unforgiving Germans) took place at Wingate & Finchley’s Harry Abrahams Stadium in North London (see

Former England manager Graham Taylor and Professional Philosopher AC Grayling organised tactics while comedians Arthur Smith and Mark Steel, historian Bettany Hughes and ex-England cricketer Simon Hughes, as well as assorted footballers, sorry, philosophers! such as Julian Baggini, Nigel Warburton, Simon Glendinning, Dr Stephen Law, Angie Hobbs and Mark Vernon took part to raise awareness of The Philosophy Shop’s 'Four Rs' campaign (

The game was set up to promote the group's campaign that 'reasoning' should be on the timetable for our children even at primary school level as much as reading and writing.

Some 400 spectators forewent watching their favourite Premiership teams on the last day of the 2009-10 season to enjoy the spectacle, officially blessed by all surviving Pythons, who also donated a signed trophy football that was also sold on eBay the same day.

The Greeks' Andy Day, one of The Philosophy Shop's consultants, broke the deadlock in a first half characterised by poorer ball control than Archimedes in a gelatine bath. But the Germans evened the honours in a second half marred by egregious fouling, a Philosophy streaker, and the well-deserved sending-off of German scoundrel comedian Arthur Schopenhauer Smith (who was cashiered for nicking Ref Open University’s Nigel Warburton’s spectacles).

London University Philosopher Anthony Carroll's duet of goals for the slick post-Kantians stitched the clash up tighter than Wittgenstein's trousers and all was quiet – apart from the crowd's lamentable attempt at a Mexican wave, Finchley style.

A clincher from the relentless Teutons in the form of Manchester University’s Thomas Porter's tap-in put the match to rest.

German manager/philosopher AC Grayling commented, "My Teutonic lads and lasses have played the game of their careers. I have often wondered whether the Greeks could really cut in on the football field. The Socratic Realm of Forms is all very well in theory, but once subjected it to a bit of rigorous footwork, it yields a weak defence. Did any of us see a decent pass out there on the park today? No surprise then that my Germans, calling upon the resources of the Kantian noumental realm, had these philosophical precursors by the short and curlies.”

Downcast oppo Graham Taylor praised his side's commitment: “Well, it’s the inevitability of jammy German success, isn’t it! Obviously, what it comes down to is how many justified true beliefs you have in the back of the old onion bag, as I always say – and today is no different. But remember, all Philosophy is a footnote to Pele...”

"Thanks to everyone’s enthusiasm and generosity, we have had an amazing and memorable event. It was a victory to the Germans on the day, of course - but also to Philosophy, and to getting people thinking about Philosophy in schools," says Peter Worley, The Philosophy Shop Director.

Immediate media resources:

Video news release material of Graham Taylor briefing his side and throwing a tantrum

Arthur Smith sporting Neitzschean 'Superman' pants (in tribute to the Nietzschean 'Uebermensch')

General clips and vox pops, including The Dagenham Girl Pipers, from talented Radio 4 documentary maker Dylan Winter

Footage of Players (Philosophers) Ancient and Modern

For all the above, intreviews with players and any other further information and the Video News Release, please contact Amanda Jane PR:

Email –
020 7241 1390/ 07920 052 160


"It seems reasonable to teach children to reason; and unreasonable not to." – Python and iconoclast Terry Jones. On The Bench.

"A great footballer achieves that status as much through his ability to think on his feet and read a game as it does from training or innate ability. How could anyone not agree that teaching children to think about everything in their lives wouldn't be just as useful?" - Gary Lineker, Broadcaster, English Football Hall Of Fame Inductee. Reported To Be Planning Move To Top Brazilian Team. Top Brazilian Team As Yet Unaware Of This.

“I didn’t think I would ever be managing the Socrates Wanderers. But the project is an important one, as well as being a fun event." - Former Watford, Aston Villa And England Gaffer Graham Taylor. Manager.

“Wouldn't it be amazing if our age was remembered not for its greed, or aggression, or foolishness - but for its belief in expanding minds? The Philosophy Shop makes that a possibility. Who could deny it is a good idea to help make our kids lovers of wisdom?” – Bettany Hughes. Secret Throw-In Force. So Secret No-One Knows If She Can Actually Do A Throw-In.

"This is a great idea, I think. At least, I think I think that." – Comedian and writer Andy Hamilton. Mid Field. Contesting A Three Match Ban For Use Of Dialectic

"Children are philosophers by nature and should be given every opportunity to think and enquire and become like Socrates in their own right." – Philosopher AC Grayling. In The Stands After Barracking The Fourth Official For Crass Determinism.

"Everything I know about football I learnt from the great philosophers." –Comedian Arthur ‘Schopenhauer’ Smith. Striker.

"Chasing a bit of inflated leather around a park may not be the most rational activity known to humankind. But in this instance, it's in pursuit of a tremendously worthwhile goal. Philosophy is a valuable resource for thinking and it is a tragedy that almost everyone leaves school in this country oblivious to what it has to offer." – Philosopher Julian Baggini. Centre Back.

"I cannot imagine any ingredient which would make a more welcome addition to the national diet than a large dash of reasoning." – Sociologist Laurie Taylor. Rumoured To Be Bringing The Brass Section.

"Philosophy is not a spectator sport. If you want to study it, you have to do it." – Philosopher Nigel Warburton. Ref.

"I’m very happy to be supporting this initiative to introduce primary school children to Philosophy." – Journalist Ariane Sherine. Sweeper.

"Life is a game. In fact life is just like a game of football – but only Jesus got to play extra time." Tony Hawks. Comedian, Writer, Musician and Philanthropist. Has Been Quoted As Determined To Hack Old Foe Epicurus Off The Park.

"Children are natural 'philosophers'. They really have the curiosity, zest and open-mindedness to explore the big questions." – Angela Hobbs, Philosopher. Winger. Only England Fan Alive Who Actually Thinks The Germans Have A Point About The '66 3rd Goal.

"The football match is a brilliant idea ... but will it really be happening if one is not there... ?" John Humphrys. Broadcaster, Journalist. UEFA Rules Trivia Geek.

For more information about The Philosophers Football Match 2010, visit or email


Notes to editors

About The Philosophy Shop

The Philosophy Shop is a social enterprise and a member of Social Enterprise London, operating on a not-for-profit basis so any operating surplus from its activities is reinvested in providing educational services or promoting Philosophy in the community. Thus all money raised in connection with 'The Philosophers' Football Match 2010' will be used for increasing awareness of the 'Four Rs' campaign and for these purposes.

The Philosophy Shop is using 'The Philosophers' Football Match 2010' as a springboard for increasing awareness of its 'Four Rs' campaign, centred on flagging the importance of the four, not three, Rs: Reading, (W)riting, (A)rithmetic AND Reasoning.

Philosophers' Football Match Trophy Partner

- Routledge Classics

Philosophers' Football Match Partners

- 2000 AD

- The Open University

- Prospect Magazine

- HowTheLightGetsIn

- Introducing Books

- Mitre

- on-IDLE

- Performance Ticket Printers

- Philosophy Now

- The Philosophers’ Magazine

For more on Philosophers' Football Match Partners, see

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