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
Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'music
Review: Cilla, ITV TV
To mark Tolstoy's 186th birthdaybooks
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Scottish independence: Ireland since 1919 is a lesson for Scotland in what a Yes vote means
- 2 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 3 Say yes to 'no-poo': It's been three years since I stopped washing my hair
- 4 Grandmas keep accidentally tagging themselves as Grandmaster Flash on Facebook
- 5 Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Fifty Shades of Grey movie: New picture of Anastasia Steele unveiled
Star Trek 3 to begin shooting in next six months
Lego breaks out of the toy box and heads for the gallery
The Walking Dead season 5 air date, trailer and season 4 recap
Robin Thicke’s hit 'Blurred Lines' lands him in court, and he had 'almost no part' in writing it
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'