Football, Life And Death

Leicester, Feb 27th, 2017. A sombre man leads a funeral procession past the football ground. Inside the hearse is a coffin. As he passes through the crowds gathering for the Leicester-Liverpool game, fans snap merrily on their mobile phones. A closer inspection of the coffin reveals a floral tribute: R.I.P Football.  At the back of the…

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Mirandinha, The Pioneer

England were one-nil up against Brazil at Wembley Stadium, thanks to a goal from Lineker 35 minutes in to the first half. But the lead didn’t last long. Two minutes later, Silas passed to Müller in the penalty area. Müller’s shot lacked venom and power but Shilton couldn’t hold  on to the ball and Mirandinha…

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The Oriundi And Italian Football

Perennially underappreciated, the oriundi are as much a part of Italy’s social history as its footballing tradition. The concept of belonging to a nation, whether de jure or de facto, is so personal, so circumstantial, so arbitrary as to be almost indefinable, or at the very least ambiguous. Yet there are those who wish to…

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Goals On Film

At 19, Michael Owen had won the Premier League Golden Boot twice and was one year away from winning the Ballon D’Or. And he’d never read a book. He revealed this, ironically enough, while being interviewed at the launch of what some might call his premature autobiography, Michael Owen In Person. Not only this, he’d…

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The Substitute: Keith Peacock

The 21st of August 1965 may seem like another unremarkable date in history for many, but in the world of English football, it’s a date on which things permanently changed. It was the day the first ever official substitution was made in the English Football League. To mark the 12th edition of Pickles, it’s only…

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