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Book Review: Saturday Afternoon Fever: A Year On The Road For Soccer Saturday

22nd July 2013

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For some, the end of the footballing season spells the beginning of a barren stretch where nothing really fills the void. It's tough, the Confederations Cup came and went, the tennis wasn't bad, and the transfer rumour mills predominantly feature a disgruntled Wayne Rooney not moving anywhere. Despite that, articles hashed together using the same quotes are still re-read, twice.

Help is at hand however, with Sky Sports reporter Johnny Philips' "Saturday Afternoon Fever - A Year On The Road For Soccer Saturday". Here we have a collection of exchanges and encounters with real characters throughout all levels of the game, offering stories that might pass you by when the footballing season is in full swing.

Philips, still very much a fan first, also provides the pretext to his own relationship with the game and how he worked his way into the dream job for any fan.

These bite size stories summarize the ups and downs of life in and around the beautiful game in an easy to digest fashion. Folk tales ranging from the ambulance driver that saved Swansea F.C to the African street kid who turned up to a trial with his earthly belongings in a plastic bag are nostalgically retold.

The darker tales pack a punch, the story of former Aston Villa player, Lee Hendrie who was declared bankrupt and attempted to commit suicide twice, offers a glimpse into the issues that Clarke Carlisle's recent BBC documentary Football's Suicide Secret highlights.

For Chelsea fans who struggled with coming to terms with the appointment of Rafa Benitez last season there are a few pointers to the kind of man he is away from the press room. Unsurprisingly it turns out he's a pretty decent bloke.

So for those that need their football fix, this is an interesting, light read, that would come in handy if you find yourself struggling to muster much in terms of conversation at the next barbecue. For those that relish the football embargo, it might come in handy if you're short of coal.

Book details:
ISBN-13: 978-1909125100
Paperback 266 pages
£9.99 (print) £7.99 (kindle)

Saturday Afternoon Fever- A Year On The Road For Soccer Saturday is available now in print and e-book format from Bennion Kearny.

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