Imagine an evening with your mates down the pub. You’ve been abroad and now are back to recount the stories from your adventure. The conversation is at times laddish, sometimes humorous, occasionally informative, but inevitably centres on football. In book form this is what Following Football by John Hopton essentially is.
If you wanted to look back on the events of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil you might check out the internet, look at some video highlights, read some articles on-line or maybe lookup some of the books written about the tournament. How many of you though would have thought of poetry as a source of reflecting on the world’s biggest sporting spectacle? Presumably not many. However, that it exactly what David Kilpatrick has done in Obrigado – A Futebol Epic.
Too many books about the careers of footballer’s tend to be pretty sterile affairs, with content that plods through a season-by-season account of their playing days with little in the way of insight or integrity. However, this is certainly not true of David Farrell’s excellent book, Taxi for Farrell – Football between the lines.
This fifth instalment in the Alfie Jones series finds the central character now aged 12 and starting life at Tideway Secondary School. As with all the series so far, author David Fuller successfully ensures that each book has a strong storyline in its own right, but also has continuity in terms of backstory and characters such as the magically mysterious Madam Zola and Alfie’s archenemy Jasper Johnson, for those who have read the previous books.
Oscar Oberg is a Swedish journalist who has three great loves – football, philosophy and comedy. In I want to be like Jürgen Klopp: And other strange thoughts about football, Oberg combines all three in a collection of forty-one thought-provoking essays. As the reader journeys through these compositions, the names of players such as Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovi?, sit side-by-side with writers such as Henry Miller and Leo Tolstoy, comedians like Billy Connolly and philosophers such as Nietzsche and Ralph Waldo Emerson.