She Stood There Laughing: A Man, His Son and Their Football Club

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9780743256834: She Stood There Laughing: A Man, His Son and Their Football Club
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'If I have an idealised still of my childhood, it's of standing amongst a small group of like-minded boys beside the player's tunnel as drizzle falls through the beam of the floodlights waiting to see which one of the team will come out to talk to the presenter...On an absolutely perfect occasion, on completion of his work in front of camera, the player might autograph my programme and possibly ruffle my hair and maybe even refer to me as mate. Sometimes on a Sunday I'd bike down to the ground and circle its silence, reliving the day before...' Last season Stoke City were unexpectedly propelled into the dizzy heights of the First Division, rare oxygen for a club that has been known to have three managers in one season. Stephen Foster, a diehard fan, who now lives in Norwich, follows the fortunes of his dire team as they struggle to retain their hold on this slippery peak of glory. From Icelandic owners, hopeless managers, hapless players, and a ground to rival the best of East German architecture, this is a marvellously mordant account of one fan's helpless obsession with a team that nearly always manages to let him down.

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'Somewhere between Julian Barnes and Nick Hornby' -- GUARDIAN

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