Book Review: And sometimes the dog was busy! Careering around the lower leagues by Fergus Moore and Roger Slater

In the 1989/90 season Fergus Moore was a promising young footballer who was awarded the Brentford FC YTS Player of the Year, boosting his dreams of one day becoming a professional in the game. However, just a year later and that path was taken away when he was released by the West London club. Rather than give up the game that he loved, Moore dropped into the world of non-league football.

Twenty-nine seasons on and he is still donning his boots in his capacity as Player Manager of Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division team, Edgware Town FC. For those unfamiliar with the football league structure in England, the Premier League is level 1, with Moore’s charges playing at level 9. And sometimes the dog was busy! details the career of defender Fergus Moore and the realities of that footballing gulf during his incredible career.

Given the number of years in the game Moore has played, the ‘Season by season’ page presented just after the ‘Foreword’ detailing the clubs he has turned out for down the years, is a useful aid for the reader. For the most part the book follows his career in chronological order, with some chapters interspersed offering reflections on his life in the game, such as the impact on his family. Overall the tone is very conversational so much so that you can almost hear the tales of Moore being relayed to co-writer Roger Slater over a pint in a football clubhouse.

What shines through the pages is Moore’s incredible desire for the game in which he expects nothing but 100% commitment from himself and those around him. And he is honest enough to detail that his passion has sometimes landed him in trouble both as a player and manager. The reader also gets to see that Moore has battled with the idea of whether he is still good enough to play as each new season dawned as he moved from his thirties into his forties, and now the same question as he makes the transition from being on the pitch to being pitch-side.

Moore’s story is an honest account of himself and the demands of the non-league circuit and will be a real eye-opener for those readers unfamiliar with life below the top four divisions.

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Posted January 12, 2019 by Editor in category "Reviews

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