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  • It's a comic story about sportsmanship and underdogs; it's also a slightly wistful portrait of village life and provincial decency, as well as a beautifully written hymn to doggedness and eccentricity. This gently humorous novella is the anti-Ronaldo.

    Robbie Millen, The Times
  • An extraordinary performance, simultaneously one of the greatest football novels ever written and a penetrating report card from a world where fiction rarely lingers, at once a comic masterpiece and a study in national temperament that the doughtiest social historian would struggle to match.

    DJ Taylor, Guardian

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