Paperback: You'll Win Nothing With Kids, by Jim White

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The Independent Culture

Hilarious and heart-wrenching, this superbly crafted account of White's traumatic spell managing his son's Sunday football team is also a perceptive depiction of modern Britain. He is particularly acute on the vice-versa transformation of children into responsible players and parents into howling brats. While insisting that the pitch is an arena where the offspring of millionaires and council estates meet on an equal footing, the reality fails short of the Corinthian ideal: "A preponderance of white vans... suggests that our opposition might start in a position slight- ly more equal than us."