The Football Man, by Arthur HopcraftBy day, I am the editor of Booklist Online, a position that, to my great pleasure, affords me first crack at reviewing the latest soccer books. And, when reprints of classic works come across my desk, I am sometimes able to offer a retrospective review. Aurum Press’s reissue of Arthur Hopcraft’s The Football Man proved a lure too strong to resist. From my review:

Readers will know from the very first pages that they are in the hands of a deep thinker and a gifted stylist, careful to turn a phrase only where it will glitter most. Hopcraft, who wrote not for tabloids but the Guardian, Observer, and the Sunday Times (and who went on to become a successful TV scriptwriter, with the adaptation of John le Carré’s Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy to his credit), is that rarest of birds, an intellectual who understands fans’ feelings, and when he calls their chants a “plainsong of the terraces,” the language isn’t merely ornamental, it’s meaningful.

Click the link above to read the entire review.

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