I have been a fan of football almost all my life and have read my fair share of biographies and other footballing books, including Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby, The Football Factory by John King and the motivational book by Marcus Rashford You Are a Champion. However, nothing tops this book. Seriously.
This is a book of football poems looking at all aspects of the beautiful game, from the stress of being chosen to play, the role of wingers, to being on the bench and the half-time satsuma. Who is better - Ronaldo or Messi?
The book is (mostly) from a child's perspective and I remember how I used to try to speak with as many football terms and players names as I could manage to fit into a sentence, as in the poem Total Football. There is a lot of word play in may of the poems, re-writes of football songs and the Match of the Day theme tune as well as rules of the game and aspects of it, such as The Language of Football and the dreaded own goal in O.G. and the potentially equally dreaded referee in A Cautionary Tale. Keepie-uppies is a visual poem that you have to look at as is the very true Life Cycle of a Football Manager.
Bilson is unlikely to become the Poet Laureate based on this book, but, for any football fan these sometimes silly verses capture the spirit of the game. The match day routines, The Lucky Bobble Hat and The Magic Sponge are part of the nostalgia of football fans. Better than poems about childhood holidays. Highly recommended for any young fan or not so young.
See more of What I'm Reading
Published by Macmillan Children's Books; Main Market edition on 27 May 2021.
Books of the Month
Best Selling Psychological Fiction
Reviews by Year of Publication
All 1844 1866 1889 1897 1932 1935 1942 1946 1950 1951 1953 1954 1960 1962 1969 1971 1974 1977 1978 1983 1984 1985 1989 1991 1994 1995 1996 1997 2000 2001 2002 2003 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022