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    I'm intrigued to see Bruce Grobbelaar has a new biography reviewed in the latest WSC. I read the autobiography he put out in the 80s where he justifies his racist comments to team-mates as just banter and how some black players laughed at his racist jokes while other needed to get over themselves. I'd like to read this biography to see if he feels the same way (or dares to put those opinions in print 30 years later)

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      Good work, and good luck with the new book Giggler. Is it on Kindle?

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        Originally posted by Sits View Post
        Good work, and good luck with the new book Giggler. Is it on Kindle?
        Thank you. I'm not sure if you remember it but the League Cup third round tie in 1995 vs Reading features heavily, what with the abandonment when Bury were 2-0 up.

        It's not on Kindle yet, but it will be soon. My first - The Forgotten Fifteen: How Bury triumphed in British football's worst year - is still available on there.

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          Thanks for the reminder Giggler - have now ordered The Forgotten Fifteen on Kindle. Can you post on here when Things Can Only Get Better is available on Kindle too please.

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            I will do, yes. Thanks for ordering The Forgotten Fifteen, I hope you like it.

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              Can I be honest about that League Cup tie...

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                Originally posted by Sits View Post
                Can I be honest about that League Cup tie...
                Gulp. Go on then.

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                  Er, I don't remember it.

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                    Originally posted by Sits View Post
                    Er, I don't remember it.
                    Haha, such is the way that Bury fans remember the righteous indignation as clearly as though it was yesterday, while it meant nothing to Reading.

                    Here's the video footage from the two games:

                    https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x6s1rb4

                    https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x6s1rlk

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                      Funny enough I was at the Reading-Southampton League Cup game in the following round. I lived and worked near Reading for a year and was fairly regular at Elm Park that season, when I wasn't gallavanting in that there London. I wasn't aware of there being any controversy about the Bury game. I think I saw Reading a dozen times that season and the only game they won was that one against Le Tiss and Southampton.

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                        Somewhat related to the thread - I've just posted on one of my blogs the paper that I gave on football fiction at a conference last summer. Warning - it's a longish read at around 3000 words.
                        I delivered the following paper at TU Dortmund University on July 13, 2018, as part of a two-day conference on the theme of 'Writing Footb...

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                          Thanks for that, Imp.

                          Are there any football 'page turners' that are less than literature but more than brain-dead? Like, crime fiction, a series featuring Shane La Trobe, substitute keeper by day, crime solver by night? Maybe they're around and I haven't noticed, but it does seem like there's a gap in the market. I'd happily read a soccer version of Harlan Coben or Scott Turow. Why do lawyers get all the book deals?

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                            I just finished 92 Pies by Tom Dickinson. I don't think this one was reviewed on the board but maybe it was. The gist is this: the author is going to try to visit every league ground in a single season (2008-2009) and he will eat a pie at each ground. Now that I've finished I can't really remember why the pie but I think it had something to do with the unique experience of watching live versus watching on TV. It begins with a general banality that one often finds surrounding such projects: searching for the soul of football amidst the big money transfer news/focus on footaballers as celebs, but luckily once he's into the journey that kind of empty discourse never features again. Instead, we learn a bit about the experience of changing stadia, nuanced regional experiences, and how fans express support for their clubs. The pie angle does add a unique touch and provides a recurring humorous element to each report. Dickinson spends about 3 pages describing each match. Some of these reports focus more on the journey to the stadium/getting in (such as being sold an away ticket when he wanted a home ticket and how he managed that situation), others focus more on a match reports, and others focus a bit more on the culture of the experience (fans, banter, songs sung). Obviously, a book wouldn't be published if he didn't complete the 92 but because he writes in present tense there is a nice sense throughout that this might not happen because of weather, car problems, ticket purchase snafus.

                            The publisher (Backline) seems to have folded but they were doing a lot of these types of books: journeys to various regional non-league games, groundhopping. I have a bunch on my shelf since I'm generally into a blend of travel writing and football narratives focused on fan's perspectives. A smaller publisher combined with an author who seemed to publish nothing before this book means there's a fair amount of typos, very bizarre spacing of paragraphs at random points, and sections that could use the advice of a more seasoned editor. However, for me the story ultimately wins out and Dickinson is mostly a likeable narrator.

                            There are two parts that are worth highlighting. First, he attended the second leg of the League Cup 1/2 final Burnley-Spurs. Burnely are ahead until very late after an extremely surprising comeback (esp. for Dickinson's friend who went with him and is a Spurs fan). Dickinson describes a scene down near the pitch where the medical staff is seeing to an elderly man. Dickinson learns the next day that the man died form a heart attack, but notes that when the man died he must have thought that he saw the greatest game of his life: Burnely coming from behind to advance to the final. Of course, he died before Spurs scored to win on away goals. It was a very nicely written section and shows for me at least that storytelling can win out when there are other non-professional features of a book that could be irritating. Second, he's a Bolton fan and saves the Bolton home game for the 92nd game. Forty of his friends and family show up to join him for that last game, most of whom went to a game or more with him during the journey. It's a really sweet ending and helps tie together the various friends and family members who appear as characters in the book.

                            In the end, if you're into groundhopping stories more generally and can generally ignore editing problems you wouldn't find in more professionally-produced books then I think you'll dig this book. The season described isn't presented as anything special and is now ten years in the past (i.e., one is not reading this book because some unique season is described). Instead, the story is interesting because of the experiences themselves, not who won or lost.
                            Last edited by danielmak; 28-02-2019, 02:33.

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                              I've recently been proofreading Mensch by Jonathan Harding, which is about German coaching and coaches, and which I found very interesting. Jonathan tweeted the cover design today, and it will probably have a few fans.

                              https://twitter.com/JonBloggs66/status/1100765413208715269

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