Public lecture promises a World Cup warm up

Football fans can prepare to take on the 2010 World Cup pundits this year at a public lecture on the story and science of the world’s most popular game (Friday 23 April).

Dr Ken Bray, author of How to Score: Science and the Beautiful Game will explain how football has gripped the world, and give an insight into the science that underpins the penalty shootout.

Dr Bray will tackle questions such as: How do you kick a perfect penalty? What’s the best sequence of players? And most importantly, why have Germany won 83 per cent of shootouts compared to England’s 17 per cent?

The lecture is organised by the University’s Foreign Languages Centre to celebrate football’s ability to bring people together around the world, like a universal language.

Dr Bray said: “Football is played by more than 240 million people in 200 countries worldwide. It’s fascinating to look at its beginnings here in this country and consider how it became the global game it is today.

“The World Cup will highlight the truly international appeal of football and the diversity of its participants and spectators, as well as bringing the penalty shootout into the spotlight once again. I’ll give people some things to look out for and help them to see the deeper aspects of this intriguing aspect of World Cup football.”

Isabella Stefanutti, Director of Community Courses, said: “There is a strong connection between sport and languages and this is the first in a series of lectures and activities celebrating the power of sport to bring people of different cultures together.”

Dr Bray’s book on football is published in nine languages (English, French, Italian, Dutch, Serbo-Croat, German, Japanese, Finnish and Greek). He will be giving away an English version plus a foreign language copy on the night to the person who correctly identifies a deliberate mistake during the lecture.

Dr Bray is a theoretical physicist and a Senior Visiting Fellow at the University’s Department of Mechanical Engineering. His passion for sport has led him to specialise in the science of football and he publishes and lectures widely on the subject.

The lecture will be held on Friday 23 April at 7.30pm at the University of Bath campus in 8 West 2.1. Tickets cost £5 and can be bought in advance by calling the Foreign Languages Centre on 01225 383991. Tickets can also be bought on the door.  For more information please visit

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