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    Always good to read a Pensnett good news story

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      The Dell is near the office. Alas I couldn't pop by on Friday as I was lunching at a Calabrian trattoria in Nottingham

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        Sounds nice, Dunc. I was hoping to pop over to Trent Bridge this weekend but didn't manage it. Let me know when you're free and back in the hood and we'll organise a meet up.

        Apropos of the England Italy game at the Molineux, I was reading a Spanish report of the game this morning. Clearly it had been translated by bots as Raheem Sterling went by the name of Raheem Libra esterlina throughout the piece.

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          Will do Senor

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            Originally posted by Jon View Post
            Apropos of the England Italy game at the Molineux, I was reading a Spanish report of the game this morning. Clearly it had been translated by bots as Raheem Sterling went by the name of Raheem Libra esterlina throughout the piece.
            Brilliant!

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              Originally posted by Jon View Post
              They had a great story about the Italian football team training at the Dell stadium in pensnett which I enjoyed greatly.

              Your book sounds great, antrich9.
              The beginning of the rise of Brierley Hill as a national sporting venue?

              Thanks for the encouragement, Jon.

              Since my original post, the My Football Books website has kindly published some more details about the book:

              https://www.myfootballbooks.com/feat...salls-greatest
              Last edited by antrich9; 05-07-2022, 20:55.

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                I have Auke Kok’s biography of Cruijff, the first of his books to make it into English. By all accounts, it seems to be much better than Cruijff’s actual autobiography. I shall report back soon.

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                  Extract and illustration from Reffing Hell here.

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                    Originally posted by imp View Post
                    Extract and illustration from Reffing Hell here.
                    Great extract. You have my admiration and sympathy! I watched a non-league match back in 2018 and was genuinely astonished at the level of abuse the officials received. Ironically, large 'Respect' signs were posted all around the ground. Maybe nobody on the pitch – or in the crowd – could read. I included the incident in my book (extract below). I've added the two previous paragraphs for context:

                    'The quality of pre-match and half-time entertainment was a source of frustration for many football supporters in the late 1950s and early 1960s. In the 1957 Christmas edition of the weekly football magazine Soccer Star, one reader (still some years before sing-alongs to the music of the Beatles and Gerry and the Pacemakers or the work of Frank Howell) expressed his boredom with half-time entertainment generally.

                    Rejecting the standard fare of the marching brass band, John Sadler appealed for more imagination from the clubs, especially at Christmas. He went on to nail his colours firmly to the mast of circus entertainment in a passionate plea for clowns, trick cyclists and stunt-men – ‘anything to get rid of those boring bands’.

                    If only he could have stood alongside those of us who attended a Northern League match on a cold afternoon in March 2018 and witnessed the away team’s left-winger first verbally abusing the referee and linesman for not awarding him a free kick (after a poorly executed and totally unconvincing dive), and then berating his own players when they failed to collect one of his badly placed passes. Mr Sadler would soon have realised that you don’t necessarily have to wait until half time to see clowns on the pitch.'


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                      The Kenny Dalglish Soccer Annual (Browne Watson, 1979)

                      A somewhat slight tome, weighing in at 60 pages all told. Covering such topics as "Football - what it means to me", "Football North of the border" and "Scotland v England", a distinct theme is apparent.

                      Here, Kenny describes his pre-match routine:

                      Once inside the dressing room I always get changed in the same sequence. I'm not really sure if this is a superstition or a habit. Some players have definite superstitions. But in my case I am concious (sic) of getting changed in a certain order.

                      Firstly I take off all my clothes. Then I put my shirt on before anything else, followed by my jock-strap and then my boots. No socks yet, mind you, just the boots.

                      As kick-off time gets closer I take the boots off again, pull on my socks, put the boots back on, lace them up and do some warming-up exercises and stretches. Then I have a bit of a rub down after which I put on my shorts.

                      I take off my ring and put it in my jacket pocket, take a soft drink, have a few touches of the ball to get an early feel of it then wish all the team the best of luck.
                      Illuminating, I'm sure you will agree.

                      For those interested, here's Kenny's World XI:

                      1. Ray Clemence
                      2. Danny McGrain
                      3. Paul Breitner
                      4. Bobby Murdoch
                      5. Franz Beckenbauer
                      6. Daniel Passarella
                      7. Rivelino
                      8. Denis Law
                      9. Johan Cruyff
                      10. Pele
                      11. George Best

                      Should you wish to disagree with Kenny's 1979 choices, feel free to write to him c/o Liverpool Football Club, Anfield Road, Liverpool, L4 0TH, England. Alternatively, open the window and shout at passersby.

                      9/10.
                      Last edited by Toby Gymshorts; 21-07-2022, 13:27.

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                        Dalglish, Peters, Hartford, Cherry, Sunderland……..I’m going Nelson and Yorath in the distance.

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                          Originally posted by Sunderporinostesta View Post
                          Dalglish, Peters, Hartford, Cherry, Sunderland……..I’m going Nelson and Yorath in the distance.
                          Good call, apart from Yorath, maybe.

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                            I guess the theme cutting across my posts in this thread is that I tend not to read a lot of contemporary football books. Keeping with that trend, I just finished Mike Bayly's Changing Ends. It's a book that fits the general mold of what I like--ground hopping through a season, learning about different towns and cities as well as the football played there. In this instance, Bayly travels to 17 different grounds. The first 2/3 follow a similar patter: he meets up with someone affiliated with the club to learn about what they do and why and then he moves to a very short match report. The games themselves are after-thoughts. This shifts a bit in the last few chapters, where there is more of a focus on the experience.

                            He writes in the conclusion that he knows his limitations as a writer (he's no Harry Pearson, David Beanie, or Cameron Carter). I think this move might be been pushed to the introduction to help frame the book. It was an interesting book but I started and stopped it 3-4 different times to jump something else into the commute in part because the chapters were more enjoyable when read in isolation and a little repetitive when read in succession.

                            I assume most folks won't want to go back in time but I think reading about the 2009-2010 season was interesting and many of the issues raised by folks at the non-league clubs remain relevant. On the plus side, there isn't a lot of "this is the real football and top flight is all about the money" which tends to plague books written by folks about non-league football who tend to follow the top two divisions.

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                              More extracts from Refing Hell here, with some stunning illustrations too, courtesy of The Howler.

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