Breaking Ground: Art, Archaeology & Mythology

Now that the book is sold out, the team behind Breaking Ground have decided that the best way to mark the closure of this incredible story is to auction the last available copy, with all profits going towards Bradford Park Avenue FC’s player fund, as they push for the playoffs in 2018. After all, it is their story. Let’s give the lads a hand!

This is a very special package. Along with the book and DVD the winner of the auction will also receive the booklet that accompanied the William Hill Sports Book of the Year event, 2 unique A3 artist prints by Alan Ward and Neville Gabie, both signed by the artists and the limited edition postcard pack. It’s a unique record of not just a remarkable project, but the joy, significance and meaning football clubs play in the lives of people.

If the auction reaches £200 an additional A3 signed artist print will be included.

You are bidding for:

1 x Breaking Ground book + DVD, with a one-off designed book plate, detailing the name of the buyer and signed by the artists

2 x unique A3 signed artist prints (these are printed on museum grade archive 300gsm art paper)

1 x William Hill Sports Book of the Year 2017 event booklet (unavailable to buy anywhere)

Ltd edition postcard pack – 6 cards

We will ship in the uk for free – international purchases will be shipped via the Ebay Global Shipping Programme

Click here for link to ebay page.



Short listed for the William Hill Sports Book of Year 2017

A unique collaboration of art, archaeology and the fans who participated and ultimately made it possible!

Click here to see full list

ISBN: 978 0 9554825 6 4

Retail price £30 free postage **FIRST EDITION SOLD OUT**

The huge demand for the book in the wake of the William Hill Sports Book Prize shortlisting means we have sold out of the first edition of Breaking Ground. 

Thanks so much for your interest in the book – we are currently discussing the possibility of a second edition. If you would like to register your interest in purchasing a copy of the second edition, please e-mail us at



All press enquiries e-mail Ben East on

What started with a world first – the archaeological excavation of a goalpost hole – ended with a trowel as an exhibit in the National Football Museum. It is to all intents and purposes, ground breaking. In 2013, the Park Avenue football ground, a long-forgotten time capsule of Bradford’s social history, began to be unearthed by archaeologist Jason Wood and artist Neville Gabie.

That first tentative dig convinced them to grab the moment before the ground’s legacy was lost forever. Invigorated by the fans’ enthusiasm, with funding from Arts Council England and the National Football Museum, and with the blessing of Bradford Metropolitan Council, they returned in 2015 with an enlarged team of archaeologists and artists, once again to be embraced by the passionate Avenue fans with their contributions and insights. It is a publication which uses art and archaeology to celebrate the mythology of this once great club.

The book also contains a DVD of artist works and interviews with the archaeologist and fans.


Completing the shortlist is Breaking Ground: Art, Archaeology and Mythology, which uncovers the ‘lost’ place of Bradford Park Avenue football club and, as a collection of essays, marks a first in form for the Award.
William Hill Sports Book of the Year 2017 press release

“It reminds me of Damien Hirst’s archaeological book of his Diamond Skull, but it’s more Jeremy Deller than Hirst”
As reviewed by @pittsmike in @archaeologyuk

“Importantly, it also stands as a lesson in how publically funded projects like this can (and perhaps should) be made intelligible to communities by the use of their knowledge and memories.
The feeling is always mutual however, and Breaking Ground never stops giving, all the way to the careful-you-don’t-miss-it ‘Souvenir’ DVD of extra material found within the inside back cover. The volume’s concluding remarks refers to the old football ground as a ‘people’s palace’ (128). If this is so, then Breaking Ground is a treasure trove magically recovered from that palace.”
Ian Waites (2017): Breaking ground: art, archaeology & mythology, International Journal of Heritage Studies, DOI: 10.1080/13527258.2017.1338604

“What a superb production and a very interesting looking book! I believe this is a first entry to our collection along the lines of goal line archaeology!
And of course, it looks to be a fascinating and moving insight into the social history aspect also.”
Amy Wolstenholme
Senior Library Assistant Rewley House Continuing Education Library, one of the Bodleian Libraries

“Thanks for the swift service @BPA_BreakGround a marvellous addition to my local sports library.”
Mick Handley

“There it is! The green and white, and then the BPA tricolor on the bottom spine. I often look for minute details but I have to admit I reckon I wouldn’t have spotted this!
… Whole thing is a work of art.
You know, we all buy books at times, then some are passed on to other people or given to charity etc, and just a few really key books are kept.
One of those forever books is this one. It’s a book you just don’t let go of. Great!”




RT @BookiePrize: It'll be fascinating to see how much it goes for- more than an old penny and a nappy pin, I'll wager!…
- Sunday Dec 10 - 12:16pm