Leave Them Kids Alone

There are moments in life when you just know you have over-stepped the boundaries of appropriate adult behavior. In my case it was shouting ‘For fuck’s sake, don’t make that fat twat look like Messi!’ during a tense under-10s league match in which my son was playing. For one second shame overcame me at the…

Read More

Pickles Meets MCWFC

A slightly dreich morning at Sale Sharks’ AJ Bell Stadium, and I’m here to meet some of the stars of England’s best performance in an international tournament in 45 years. I’m shown into a small, tiled changing room and there, sitting on the floor against the wall, knees drawn up to her chest, is England’s…

Read More

The Team Who Stole The World Cup

“The most chaotic, disorganised and ramshackle tournament in history” is how one publication described the World Cup in Brazil. Not the 2014 edition, with its concerns over stadiums, protests and transport – but the one in 1950, which was something else altogether. Blighted by teams withdrawing for dubious reasons, not technically having a final and…

Read More

An Italian Lesson

Autumn 1994. I arrived in Padua, a small town in the north eastern corner of Italy and about a 20-minute train journey from Venice. I was a 21 year-old student of Italian and had never heard of the place – it had been drawn out of a hat by 2 members of staff in the…

Read More

Two Tribes: Football Rivalries

“Loving you is not a choice”, sang Fosca in the Stephen Sondheim musical, Passion, “it’s who I am”. Well, if love makes the world go round, then hatred turns football on its axis. Nothing guarantees a sell-out like a bitter rivalry reloaded; no fixture able to ignite the increasingly apathetic faithful like one dripping with…

Read More

Posts navigation