Everyone loves an FA Cup upset: a smug Premier League team being knocked out by plucky underdogs. In these days of oligarch owners, superstar managers and players on sky-high wages, the tide is turning against the big teams as fans search for football with a soul. Enter non-league football – the heartland of the beautiful game.
Nige Tassell spends a season among the characters who inhabit this world. The raffle-ticket seller who wants her ashes scattered in the centre-circle. The envelope salesman who discovered a future England international. The ex-pros still playing with undiluted passion on Sunday mornings. One thing unites them: they are all dreamers.
Tassell ventures all over the footballing map, from the giantkillers of Salford City to hungover cloggers on Hackney Marshes, interviewing obsessive groundhoppers, record-smashing goalscorers, dictatorial managers, ukulele-strumming fans and the captain of the Filipino national team. He makes extended stopovers at both new boys Tranmere Rovers looking for a speedy return to the Football League and the inhabitants of the ‘bottom corner’ Bishop Sutton, who are just trying to get eleven men on a pitch.
Hope and ambition. Triumph and tragedy. Faith and despair. All human life is here in the win-or-sink drama of non-league football.
- Yellow Jersey
- Published 1st September 2016
- 320 Pages
- 135mm x 216mm x 23mm