Danny Nuttall

Lecturer in Sports Studies

School of Sport and Wellbeing

Greenbank Building, GR135

+44 (0) 1772 89 4928

Subject Areas: History and Sociology

Danny has been a full-time member of staff at UCLan since 2008 and has predominantly contributed to the socio-cultural modules within SSTO. His research interests focus on identity and community formation in football.

Danny is a member of the International Football Institute and International Research Institute for Sports Studies.

Full Profile

Danny joined UCLan in 2006, initially on a part-time basis, having successfully completed an MA in Historical Research at Lancaster University (2005) and BA (Hons) in History within our very own department (2003).

A member of the International Football Institute, Danny is in the latter stages of his PhD and is working towards a PGCert in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. He is also the course leader for Sports Studies.

Whilst at UCLan, Danny has incorporated much of his research experience and findings into the modules he has written and delivered. In particular, the historical module 'The Making of Modern Sport', for first year undergraduates, and 'Sport and Identity', which is aimed at third year students, are underpinned by both previous and ongoing research projects.


Gibbons, T and Nuttall, Daniel (2012) Using e-surveys to access the views of football fans within online communities. Sport in Society: Cultures, Commerce, Media, Politics, 15 (9). pp. 1228-1241

Nuttall, D (2013) A Fragmented Diaspora? Online Communities and ‘Exiled’ Soccer Fans. In: Football and Communities Across Codes. Interdisciplinary Press, Oxfordshire, pp. 93-106. ISBN 978-1-84888-241-6

Gibbons, T and Nuttall, D (2013) “True fan = watch match”? In Search of the ‘Authentic’ Soccer Fan. Soccer in Society . (Submitted)


PhD Research

PhD Title
‘Online Fandom: exploring community and identity formation within football fan forums’

Generally speaking, sociological studies of soccer fans have labelled specific fan practises as ‘authentic’ or ‘inauthentic’, often doing so on the basis of a subjective prioritisation of traditional forms of soccer fandom. Consequently, computer mediated communication (CMC) has become stigmatised and fan interactions via the internet have been widely regarded as one of the many negative consequences of the globalisation of the sport. An unhelpful dichotomy has thus emerged, which divorces CMC from ‘authentic’ fan practises and excludes those that interact online from genuine fandom. Thorough research, therefore, into the nature of such interactions, and the distinct communities that emerge from this, has been largely neglected.

PhD Research

Ironically, several studies, which have used online fan interactions as a source of data, have reported the replication of (or potential for) several forms of traditional soccer fandom within online settings – most notably, the centrality of geographic identity and origin, as well as the establishment of meaningful relationships and genuine communities of soccer fans. The results of such studies also suggest that it is precisely those fans engaged in traditional practises who are the most likely to converse via the internet.

The central aim of this research project is to address the dearth of research on CMC between soccer fans and, more specifically, to provide conceptual outline for our understanding of online communities and the nature and consequences of online interactions. To date, it must be noted that whilst the term community is widely used with reference to English football (by academics, fans, and the press alike), it is often conflated with other collective adjectives and has little conceptual value at all. With reference to online communication and fandom, it is hoped that the specific elements that constitute a community can be analysed further, in order to assess more accurately whether they truly exist.

Other Research Interests

Danny is also working on a number of research projects related to the socio-cultural analysis of sport. In particular, he is currently involved in research based on;

The question of authenticity in football fandom.
The expression of identities through rivalry in football.
The norms and values of online fan communities (as articulated through discussions of race and sexuality).
Collective memory, condolence and community: the symbolic significance of Tom Finney.


Nuttall, D. (2013) ‘A Fragmented Diaspora? Online Communities and ‘Exiled’ Soccer Fans’, presented at the Football Communities Across Codes Conference, 4-6 February, Sydney, Australia.

Nuttall, D. (2014) ‘“The Like of Which Will Never be Seen Again”. Antipathy to modern football(ers), collective memory and the death of Sir Tom Finney’, presented at the Football and Communities of Resistance Conference, 12 June, Manchester, UK.

Teaching Activities and Responsibilities

Danny is module leader and tutor on a wide range of sport-related modules across the School, including:

Module Leader
Sport in Society (Level 4)
The Making of Modern Sport (Level 4)
Sport Today (Level 5)
Current Issues in Sport (Level 5)
Sport and Identity (Level 6)
Sport Issues and Ethics (Level 5)
Sports and Politics (Level 6)

Module Tutor
Sport and the Global Village (Level 6)

Danny supervises undergraduate and postgraduate single research projects and dissertations.