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Dr Rory Magrath BA, MSc, PhD, FHEA

Associate Professor of Sociology

Faculty of Sport, Health and Social Sciences


Rory graduated from Solent University in 2010 with a degree in BA (Hons) Football Studies. Following this, he successfully completed an MSc in Sociology of Sport at Loughborough University. He returned to the University on a part-time basis in 2011, before being appointed as a Lecturer in 2014, Course Leader in 2016 and Associate Professor in 2020. He also completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning in 2013, becoming a fellow of the Higher Education Academy shortly after.

He completed his PhD in 2015 under the supervision of Professor Eric Anderson. This research focused on the construction of masculinities among young, elite footballers in the UK. Since then, he has conducted a broad range of research in areas related to this – including football fans’ acceptance of homosexuality, sports media representation, anti-discrimination policy, male friendships and openly gay students in education. This research has been published in a variety of leading journals, in monograph format and as book chapters. His research also regularly appears in national and local newspapers, international news agencies and national radio.

He is currently working on an ongoing funded project focused on the experiences of LGBT football fans, as well as conducting research on non-exclusive sexualities, masculinities in cricket and experiences of head trauma in sport. He welcomes contact from potential PhD or MPhil students in any of these areas.

He also co-edits the Palgrave Studies in Masculinity, Sport and Exercise book series with Jamie Cleland and Eric Anderson.

Taught courses

Further information

Teaching experience

Rory’s teaching predominantly relates to the sociological study of football. He teaches this across all three years of the Football Performance and Participation undergraduate provision, as well as at MA level. He is also involved in the delivery of research methods at undergraduate and postgraduate level, and supervises numerous dissertation students.

Rory is also the joint Doctoral Co-Ordinator in the School of Sport, Health and Social Sciences.

Research interests

Rory’s research interests lay predominantly in the area of sport, sexualities, and masculinities. He has also conducted research on football fandom, young male athletes, men’s friendships, sports policy, sports media, equality and diversity, bisexuality, non-exclusive sexualities, and head trauma in sport.

Recent publications

Magrath, R. (2020). ‘Progress…slowly, but surely’: The sports media workplace, gay sports journalists, and LGBT media representation in sport. Journalism Studies, 21(2), pp. 254-270.

Magrath, R. (2019). Inclusive masculinities of working-class university footballers in the South of England. Sport in Society (Online First).

Magrath, R., Cleland, J. and Anderson, E. (eds.) (2020). The Palgrave Handbook of Masculinity and Sport. Basingstoke: Palgrave.

Magrath, R. (ed.) (2019). LGBT Athletes in the Sports Media. Basingstoke: Palgrave.

Magrath, R. and Stott, P. (2019). ‘Impossible to implement?’: The effectiveness of anti-homophobia policy in English professional football. International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics, 11(1), pp. 19-38.

Magrath, R. (2018). ‘To try and gain an advantage for my team’: Homophobic and homosexually themed chanting among English football fans. Sociology, 52(4), pp. 709-726.

Cleland, J., Magrath, R. and Kian, E.M. (2018). The internet as a site of decreasing cultural homophobia in association football: An online response by fans to the coming out of Thomas Hitzlsperger. Men and Masculinities, 21(1), pp. 91-111.

Gaston, L., Magrath, R. and Anderson, E. (2018). From hegemonic to inclusive masculinities in English professional football. Journal of Gender Studies, 27(2), pp. 301-312.

Magrath, R., (2017). Inclusive masculinities in contemporary football: Men in the beautiful game. London: Routledge.

Magrath, R. (2017). The intersection of race, religion and homophobia in British football. International Review for the Sociology of Sport, 52(4), pp. 411-429.

Magrath, R. and Scoats, R. (2017). Young men’s friendships: Inclusive masculinities in a post-university setting. Journal of Gender Studies (Online First).

Roberts, S., Anderson, E. and Magrath, R. (2017). Continuity, change and complexity in the performance of masculinity mong elite young footballers in England. The British Journal of Sociology, 68(2), pp. 336-357.

Magrath, R., Cleland, J. and Anderson, E. (2017). Bisexual erasure in the British print media: Representation of Tom Daley’s coming out. Journal of Bisexuality, 17(3), pp. 300-317.

Magrath, R., Anderson, E. and Bullingham, R. (2016). Out in sport: The experiences of openly gay and lesbian athletes in competitive sport. London: Routledge.

Magrath, R., Anderson, E. and Roberts, S. (2015). On the door-step of equality: Attitudes toward gay athletes among academy-level footballers. International Review for the Sociology of Sport, 50(7), pp. 804-821.


Rory was nominated for Researcher of the Year Award in 2018, and won the Research Excellence Award (University of Winchester) in 2013/14.

Work in progress

Rory is currently working on numerous projects, including work on the coverage of LGBT athletes in the sports media, and the working environment of LGBT people in sport. He is also involved in a project funded by the American Institute of Bisexuality, which examines the experiences of LGBT fans in English football – the first project of its kind.

He is also involved in ongoing projects related to the increased fluidity of contemporary masculinities and sexualities, especially in relation to sporting cultures. He is due to publish an edited collection – Handbook of Masculinity and Sport (with Jamie Cleland and Eric Anderson) – in 2019 (Palgrave).