The Steeple Sinderby Wanderers FA Cup Run

Hull City Wembley

J.L. Carr’s “How Steeple Sinderby Wanderers Won The FA Cup” published by Penguin Books is an enjoyable short story that chronicles the success of fictional amateur side Steeple Sinderby Wanderers as they nonchalantly decide to compete in the Football Association Challenge Cup and proceed to lift the trophy at Wembley the same season. The geographical location of Steeple Sinderby is ambiguous but the club’s players, employees and associates are all village folk from the English back-country.

It may be far-fetched but the narrative is witty and glorious in its representation of the unglamorous reality of 1970’s English Football as seen by players and fans alike. The book is filled with classic lines Continue reading

Interview with an Indonesian Football Hooligan

Indonesian Football Hooligans

Original name and club affiliation of speaker omitted for obvious reasons. When [Club] is written, it refers to the Football club the speaker supports. When [Rival Club 1 / 2] are written, it refers to the rival Football clubs of the fans of the speaker’s club.

The opinions and thoughts expressed in this post reflect the speaker alone and are not Continue reading

War Games: the Caveman Within


In his essay ‘The Sporting Spirit’ George Orwell famously wrote,

“[Sport] is war minus the shooting”

He was writing in the mid 20th century. Orwell claimed that ‘serious’ sport as he put it was always competitive, ruthless and extremely aggressive thanks to spectators venting their frustration and energy in attempts to help defeat opponents by means of intimidation and foul play. His observation was that the manner of victory was obsolete; maintaining prestige was the only imperative. Fans felt compelled to fight alongside the sportsman to improve chances of victory. An aggressive atmosphere was therefore a natural bi-product of competitive sport.

Orwell’s comparison of Sport to War is appropriate, but not complete in explanation. The simple Continue reading

Football Heaven and Hell

From Boothferry To Germany

A variation on an old saying you were shown during a dull speech at a work conference or something:

In Football Heaven

the Players are Italian, the Referees are English, the Fans are Polish, the Beer is Czech, the Police are Dutch, the Prices are German, the Commentators are Spanish and the Stadia are French.

In Football Hell

the Players are Czech, the Referees are Spanish, the Fans are English, the Beer is French, the Police are Italian, the Prices are Dutch, the Commentators are German and the Stadia are Polish.

Enjoy your game this weekend.