Goalkeepers in trousers, proper division names, turf patterns, pixelated scoreboards and, of course, Saturday evening pink newspapers... They were the gritty stardust that made football sparkle.Here, 50 such wonders are drawn together with evocative charm before they slip from memory forever. Dedicating a chapter to each wonder, Daniel Gray's pieces read more like love letters than essays. Here is a sentimental meander beneath main-stand clocks and through streets where children still play football. Written in the same wistful and whimsical style as Gray's much-admired previous book, Saturday, 3pm, the unashamedly nostalgic Black Boots and Football Pinks will warm the heart and prompt fond sighs of recognition. Gray's words preserve on paper the relics and minutiae of a shared obsession and identity. They make yesterday's football feel within touching distance, and offer cosy refuge from a boisterous game and world.
Author and historian Daniel Gray is the writer of Stramash and Homage
Caledonia. For a short period in the early 1990s he was the
left-back in his village, once marking Gordon Strachan's
(the one who didn't become a footballer) out of the game.
supporter, Daniel began attending football matches in
1988 and has
never recovered. He has worked in a psychiatric
in television and politics. He loves staring
out of train
lives in Leith with his wife and daughter.
Follow him on Twitter at @d_gray_writer.
A funny, affectionate and nostalgic celebration of quirks ... It would be easy to get the tone wrong but Gray's touch is exquisite. A book with so much warmth you could slip it into your pocket for games in winter.
A heartwarming, occasionally emotional and often very funny meander down Memory Lane… A book of considerable charm, worth the price of admission for the phrase "hair wax applied methodically and in a style that considered Charles Buchan's Football Weekly a mirror" alone.
The perfect stocking filler…a wonderful little book.
Often funny and absolutely authentic.
The Herald, Sports Books of the Year
Fifty taken-for-granted gems of Britain's footballing past have been preserved for posterity…an unabashed love letter to the beautiful game. Back of the net.
The Sunday Post, Books of the Year
[Gray's] poetic prose makes him the John Cheever of the penalty spot and the Joan Didion of the halfway line.
[Gray] effortlessly paints pictures that transport you to a place and time … both clever and endearing
The Football Pink
[Daniel Gray] is a very fine writer … funny, warm and, sheesh, this lad can turn a phrase in the way Juninho would Samba his way past a defender for his beloved Boro.
Glasgow Herald - Nick Cameron
Wistful and affecting.
An affectionate, tongue-not-quite-in-cheek lamentation for all that's been lost from the game… Slight yet robust like a winger of the old school, this book jinks, charms and scores
When Saturday Comes
A paean to football before the days of big money and soulless stadia.