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Last Updated: Monday, 3 July 2006, 07:06 GMT 08:06 UK
History 'beats' football interest
England fans
Less than half of those polled said football was an interest
Millions of people may have been glued to the World Cup in recent weeks but history is what really matters to them, a survey suggests.

The subject was found to be of interest to some 73%, with 59% saying they value sport - and just 48% football.

Mori spoke to 1,030 people for the History Matters - Pass It On campaign.

The campaign devised by the likes of the National Trust and the Civic Trust aims to raise involvement in heritage activities in England and Wales.

Its launch comes after thousands of people travelled to northern France at the weekend to honour relatives who took part in the Battle of the Somme 90 years ago.

'Cool' subject

"At a time when the excitement and drama of sport has captured the nation's imagination, it is truly impressive that history more than held its own," said Fiona Reynolds, director general of the National Trust.

"History has deep-rooted and fundamental appeal and is valued by millions of people."

The National Heritage Memorial Fund, the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Historic Houses Association and Heritage Link are among the other organisations involved in the campaign.

Other findings from the UK-wide poll conducted between 16 and 18 June saw 80% of respondents saying history matters in today's society; 73% thinking too many old buildings are being demolished, and 69% describing history as a "cool" subject.

In comparison, celebrities were said to interest only 25% of those interviewed.

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