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Corinthian spirit

Posted by David FG on September 22, 2009 at 17:31

In Reply to: Corinthian spirit posted by George Burrows on September 22, 2009 at 11:43:

: 'Corinthian spirit' - can someone explain the origins of this phrase please?

'Corinthian Spirit' is the spirit of 'gentlemanly' amateurishness (in its true sense: of playing for love, not profit) as epitomized by the English football (soccer for Westpondians) team, Corinthian FC.

A reasonable description (though a bit shaky on some of its detail) is here, by the English journalist, Hunter Davies, writing in the (mainly) political journal, 'The New Statesman':

'... teams could behave like the Corinthians used to do, back in the 1900s. They were the totally amateur, public-school, Oxbridge team that put fair play and moral values above such sordid, vulgar things as winning. They never argued with the ref or entered any competition where there was a prize. If by chance the other team lost a man, either sent off or through injury, they immediately and voluntarily sent off one of their own men, just to keep things even.'