Book Review: Following Football by John Hopton
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.
At only 156 pages the book very much has the feel of a travel diary as Hopton moves through various countries including China, Germany, Russia and South Africa to his final destination Brazil. It mixes observations on visits to stadiums and games, with anecdotes about the people he meets, the places he stays, told in an engaging manner.
Hopton’s premise for this book is to, “look at the global anatomy of football and how it varies from country to country” with his final destination the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, “assessing how-well suited different cities and stadiums are to the craic that should be part of all football experiences.”
In truth it is a lofty ambition given that there is so much other content that Hopton covers within the pages. Whilst there is no getting away from the fact that Following Football is an enjoyable and very readable book, it suffers from attempting to cover too much ground within its pages.