St George in My Heart : Confessions Of An England Fan

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9780953592036: St George in My Heart : Confessions Of An England Fan
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An England fan's account of following England's football team home and away

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From the Publisher:

Terrace Banter was launched in October, 1998, as a football imprint of S.T. Publishing. Over the past decade football as a spectator sport has changed beyond all recognition, particularly for the ordinary fan. A great deal of working class culture and tradition is being cast to one side so that football can appeal to a new market, that of the "soccer fan". Through Terrace Banter we hope to put down in print the experiences of the ordinary fan before they are lost forever in a sea of plastic seats and replica strips. Unless we document our own history, it is left to outsiders and the mass media to be judge and jury. This book is primarily about following England, but it is also about growing up on the terraces. If you have an interest in football hooliganism or working class culture in general, I'm sure you'll enjoy St George In My Heart - Confessions Of An England Fan.

From the Back Cover:

" . . . We ordered a beer in a bar where a few more English were drinking. By now, there was about 15 of us and we all knew that hundreds of Dutch fans had just left the station and were on the look out for England fans. We stood outside the bar, keeping our glasses, bottles, chairs and tables within easy reach, just in case.

After a few minutes, we heard a loud bang, like the sound of an explosive device being let off. This was quickly followed by the unmistakable sound of it kicking off. We could hear glasses smashing and the sound of people shouting at each other. We knew it was kicking off, but couldn't see where or what exactly was happening. It was obviously kicking off down one of the side streets leading off from the square. We tooled up and expected the worst. Our fears came true when we suddenly saw over 200 Dutch fans charging towards us from across the other side of the square. They still had about 100 yards to cover before they reached our bar, but we all knew what we were going to do.

We picked up our weapons and charged at them. We were heavily outnumbered and probably didn't stand a chance, but we were not going to run from the Dutch at all costs. It was an incredible display of loyalty because you have to remember that we had only met our brothers in arms just a few minutes earlier. We didn't even know what team they supported, but one thing we all shared in common was our loyalty and pride in England . . . "

When he's not on domestic duty with Millwall, Colin Johnson used to spend his time and money following his beloved England over land and sea. And not as part of the official travel club either. Here's his account of trips to Scotland, Italy, Ireland, Wales, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Sweden, Spain, Holland, and of course Wembley before it became populated by happy smiley people chanting "Football's coming home".

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