School of Social Sciences, Humanities & Law
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Dr Tom Gibbons

Tom Gibbons

About Tom Gibbons

Dr Tom Gibbons has been Lecturer/Senior Lecturer in Sports Studies at Teesside since 2007. Tom previously worked as a researcher at Teesside (2004-2005) and St Martin's College, Lancaster (2005-2007). 

Tom's main areas of research and teaching expertise are the sociology and history of sport. He was awarded his PhD on the relationship between English national habitus and football fandom at Teesside in 2013 and from this published his first monograph titled English National Identity and Football Fan Culture: Who are ya? (Ashgate, 2014). Tom has since co-edited (with Dr Kevin Dixon) a book titled The Impact of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games: Diminishing Contrasts, Increasing Varieties (Palgrave, 2015) as well as another co-edited text with Dr Dominic Malcolm (Loughborough University) titled Sport and English National Identity in a 'Disunited' Kingdom (Routledge, 2017). Tom has also published in a range of international peer reviewed journals and has chapters in edited texts on topics including: national identity, globalisation and sport; disability and sport; Christianity and sport; various sporting subcultures; and, digital technologies and sport. Tom became a Christian during his PhD studies and is currently involved in developing a Christian Sociology of Sport. This led to him editing (with Stuart Braye) a special edition of the Routledge journal Sport in Society on the topic of 'Christianity and Social Scientific Perspectives on Sport' in 2017.

Tom is currently the Research Ethics Lead for the Sport & Exercise team as well as being the School of Social Sciences, Humanities & Law rep for the Resilient and Secure Societies Grand Challenge Theme. 

Research interests and activities

Tom's research interests are in the sociology, theology and history of sport subject areas and revolve around: Christianity; English/British national identity; globalisation and European integration; fandom; media; violence/hooliganism; disability; football; endurance sport (particularly running and cycling); and, qualitative methods (particularly those using new technologies).

PhD and research opportunities

Dr Gibbons currently welcomes applications from potential PhD candidates in any aspect of the sociology, theology and/or history of sport. 

External roles and professional activities

Tom is a member of the British Sociological Association (BSA) Sport Study Group.

External research collaborations

Tom has collaborated with academics from HE institutions across the UK, Europe and New Zealand on a variety of research projects which have led to both books and journal articles.   

Learning and teaching interests

Tom is currently programme leader for BSc (hons) Sport & Exercise (Sports Studies). He is also link tutor for some of the sport-related foundation degree programmes delivered at the university's partner colleges.

Tom is also the convener of the 'Sociology of Sport Research Group' which aims to provide a supportive environment to encourage, challenge and inspire students (both undergraduate and postgraduate) to further their research journeys into the exciting world of the sociology of sport. The group is the student-focused arm of the Social Significance of Sport Research Group within the Department of Psychology, Sport & Exercise at Teesside.


Recent Books 
Gibbons, T. and Malcolm. D. (Eds.) (2017) Sport and English National Identity in a 'Disunited Kingdom'. London, Routledge.

Dixon, K. and Gibbons, T. (Eds.)(2015) The Impact of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games: Diminishing Contrasts, Increasing Varieties. Basingstoke, Palgrave Pivot. 

Gibbons, T. (2014) English National Identity and Football Fan Culture: Who are ya? Surrey, Ashgate.

Recent Journal Articles 

Gibbons, T., Watson, N. J. & Mierzwinski, M. (2017) Christianity asPublic Religion: A Justification for using a Christian Sociological Approachfor Studying the Social Scientific Aspects of Sport. Sport in Society (SpecialEdition: Christian Social Scientific Perspectives on Sport).

Tyler, M. & Gibbons, T. (2017) Redeeming the Habitus:  A Christian Sociological Approach to Embodiment in Sport. Sport in Society (Special Edition: Christian Social Scientific Perspectives on Sport).

Gibbons, T. (2015) Fan debates on English national identity surrounding the Almunia Case. Soccer & Society (Special Issue celebrating 150 years of the FA), 16 (2-3), 344-359.


View Tom Gibbons' Publications on TeesRep

In the news

  • What football highlights about English identity
    Newstalk, 30/03/2017
    Tom Gibbons, Senior Lecturer in Sports Studies at Teesside University has published a book called English National Identity and Football Fan Culture: Who Are Ya?

  • Why the Disabled Do Not Watch the Paralympics
    New Republic, online, 17/03/2014
    A team of sports researchers investigated disabled people’s attitudes towards the Paralympics by surveying 32 disability activists in the UK.

  • Teesside University comment
    Evening Gazette, 20/10/2012, p.9; Gazette Live (Web), 20/10/2012
    Tom Gibbons, senior sports lecturer at Teesside University, said racism is as much of an issue on the pitch as well as off it. "I think the John Terry incident highlights that it is still an issue in