I have just read Project Restart: From Prem to the Parks, How Football Came Out of Lockdown. It includes case-studies of how nine teams fared during lockdown: Burnley, Swansea, Tranmere, Forest Green, Solihull Moors, Royston Town, Northumberland Park, Stonewall and St Albans City Girls. These were chosen to represent a spread of clubs from the Premier League down to grassroots football. They were also chosen from the clubs that the author could get information on; many football media teams were inaccessible.
I enjoyed reading Hugging Strangers: The Frequent Lows and Occasional Highs of Football Fandom by Jon Berry. It is well written and many of his stories about supporting Birmingham City resonated with me. When my dad took me to games, I was one of the few little girls there and it felt like being in a different, much louder and more exciting world.
In Omar Bogle’s interview on BluesTV, he talked about scoring a goal against Jack Butland, a former Academy team mate of his. He said he talked with Jack after the game, but he didn’t talk about his goal. It sounded as though he had the ability that professional football players need to have, to regard opposing players as enemies during a game and as friends at other times.
I don’t have time to write much but want to recommend an article and book that I’ve read recently.
The article, The forgotten story of … Jeff Hall, the footballer whose death turned tide against polio, was in the Guardian yesterday. I haven’t forgotten him. He was my favourite player and I was devastated when he died. As well as being a good but sad read, it has a great photo of him making a sliding tackle on a snow covered pitch. Continue reading
Turning My Back on the Premier League is the story of a Man U fan who decided to follow his local team instead. His local team is Dagenham & Redbridge and the book is an account of going to their games in the 2013/14 season. I haven’t finished reading it yet but would recommend it; it’s a good read. Continue reading
As Jasper Carrott once said, “You lose some, you draw some.” And Birmingham City have drawn their last four league games. And a draw doesn’t seem quite so good as it did when we drew with Wolves in November, a magnificent result in comparison with our 0-8 loss in the previous game. Continue reading
You don’t have to be a fan of German football to enjoy this book. It’s packed with great stories of the characters that have enlivened German football from the days when it was seen as a dangerous foreign pastime up to May 25, 2013 when two German teams met in the Champions League final. It also discusses the difference between German and British fans’ views of their clubs. I have a feeling that Birmingham City fans are divided into two groups: those that are content to be customers and those that want to be more connected as German fans are. Continue reading
This was the book1 that made me want to give my brain away2. Continue reading
I try not to spend my whole life thinking about Birmingham City but the worry about it lurks in the back of my mind. I can start off thinking about something completely different and my mind finds a way to relate it to the sorry state of modern football. Continue reading
I did it again today. I went into a bookshop intending to collect two books I’d ordered and ended up buying two more that I saw as I walked through the shop. The two books I’d ordered were to give away to friends. Not only am I addicted to books, I also try to push them on friends. Continue reading
My aim in writing this review is not to give a balanced account of the whole book but to explain why I think it should be read by fans of all English football clubs and not just those who support Manchester City. The subtitle of the book is “Manchester City, Modern Football and Growing Up” and the middle phrase, “Modern Football”, refers to David Conn’s account of the business of football.
The title of this post is the title of a book written by Jane, a friend of mine. It tells the story of her journey through depression and all the questions that it threw up. She moved from asking if she should be taking antidepressants to trying to find the one that was best for her, with side effects that she could live with. It’s a personal memoir not a text book and she stresses the need for expert help in her search to find out what worked for her. She also makes it clear that the medicine that suits her won’t suit everyone.
People react to suffering in different ways and the authors of two books* on my worth-reading list came to diametrically opposite conclusions about God following imprisonment in a concentration camp. Elie Wiesel’s faith died when he arrived at Auschwitz and saw bodies in pits being consumed by fire. Corrie ten Boom also saw terrible sights in Ravensbrück but emerged with her faith in God intact.
This book is about pain and its value. It is written as a memoir of Dr Paul Brand, whose professional life revolved around the theme of pain. As a child in India he observed pain and suffering as he watched his missionary parents treating those who came for help. His parents were not doctors but had a little medical training that enabled them to treat ailments and, when necessary, extract teeth. Some of the treatments Paul Brand watched were messy and revolting and made him decide that the last thing he wanted to do was to become a doctor.
The most remarkable fact about this book is that it was first published sixty years ago, in 1953. It was written as science fiction describing a post-literate future but some of the things described in the book are now part of present-day life.