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May 12 , 2010

Extra Time


Any serious football fan will know, anyone who doesn't go to every game, home and away, from Arsenal to Vladikavkaz is a part-time supporter. Kevin Sampson gets to 90% of Liverpool's matches. His sharp, perceptive and very funny account of the agonies and ecstasies of following a sleeping giant will touch even the most recalcitrant Man Utd. fan, most of whom will recognise the ailment. His journeys take us from a pre-season friendly at Crewe to Chelsea, Celtic, Newcastle, and beyond. We meet Blackburn fish-ticklers and Bolton riot police; one-eyed barmaids and stewards with circular noses ; angry British Rail ticket inspectors and non-kinky masseuses. We follow the romantic progress of his bachelor friends Jegsy, and aging lothario and Danny, a shy bricklayer who's looking for a young Nessie Shankley. Most of all we follow the hopes and dreams of the football fan in all of us, a man of 36 who still falls asleep at night selecting his ideal 11 and awaiting the call from Roy Evans. This is a wry and wonderfully observed book for football fans everywhere.

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