Life's a Pitch, edited by Michael Calvin
Sunday 09 December 2012
Practically all football writers start following the game as fans but if they graduate to the national media they are expected to set aside their allegiances.
The editor of this anthology of the secret passions of the press box, Michael Calvin of this parish, recalls being told by the managing editor of the first national newspaper to employ him: "I do not know the colour of your politics or your favourite football team. Ensure I remain ignorant of these facts".
Cheerfully breaking that rule, Calvin explains why he changed his allegiance from Watford to Millwall – possibly a unique decision. Martin Lipton has remained staunchly Spurs, but his striving to avoid bias once led to David Pleat, the club's director of football, shouting at him: "Lipton, you're supposed to be a Tottenham fan!"
Few journalists pursue their passion to the extent of becoming chairman of their club, as Ian Ridley did, but while he was not often called upon to cover matches at Weymouth, it proved a bittersweet experience. There's also a long-distance love affair with Montpellier while reporting on the Irish League, how Malcolm Crosby became the only manager to be sacked after a Pools Panel result, and why Rodney McAree, who had a mere 22 starts for Fulham, remains a club hero 15 years on.
Highly entertaining stuff, written from the heart.
Published in paperback by Integr8 Books, £10.99
Film review Michael Glatze biopic isn't about a self-hating gay man gone straight
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 East 17 bandmember Brian Harvey in 'very desperate situation’
- 2 Vladimir Putin says Russia will fight for the right of Palestinians to their own state
- 3 WrestleMania 31 results: Seth Rollins stuns WWE as he cashes in Money in the Bank contract to claim title from Brock Lesnar
- 4 Ohio Democrat Teresa Fedor speaks out during abortion debate to reveal she has been raped – and is interrupted by laughter from Republicans
- 5 Germanwings plane crash: I have depression. That doesn't make me a psychopath
Cassetteboy joins forces with Russell Brand for Emperor's New Clothes film
Poldark, review: Demelza’s insouciance is almost as impressive as Ross’ pecs
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
James May hints he will not continue on Top Gear without Jeremy Clarkson
Louis Theroux: By Reason of Insanity, TV review: The affable Englishman routine is wearing a bit thin
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew