Monday, 16 July 2007

Forewords by Adrian Chiles and David Conn

With the book nearing publication, I've just recieved the forewords from broadcaster (and West Brom fan) Adrian Chiles and journalist David Conn.

Here's an extract from Adrian's piece:
So where is the soul of football? I think it’s in this book. For sure, there’s something magnificent in the big players big teams, the big championships and the monstrously beautiful stadiums. But nothing ever moves me so much on planet football as the sight, from the air, of a pitch scratched out on some unsuitable earth. I saw one in Bosnia once, in the middle of the war. And in South Africa too, twenty years ago. Even, often, on some crappy scrap of ground in a rougher part of Glasgow, Hull, Clapham Common or wherever

The stories in this book of these countries’ attempts to make their way in the lower reaches of FIFA’s consciousness are movingly analogous [sp?] to all those pitches carved so determinedly into the ground.
And from David:
There are so many fascinating stories in this book that, as a football commentator might say, it is difficult to pick out the highlights. Perhaps the most significant phrase of all is one written almost in passing in Chapter 5, the fascinating account of football’s place in the life and history of those blasted islands, the Falklands. Describing the moment it dawns on the manager, Patrick Watts, that his ecstatic commentary is useless because he has lost his connection to Port Stanley where there has been a power cut, Steve Menary writes that “as the only journalist there,” he thought it would be only decent to lend Watts his tape recorder.

That phrase is clearly written not to boast of the extreme lengths travelled to produce this engaging, warm and human story of football in the outer reaches of the world. It was just a fact. Steve Menary has gone to the places other journalists have never reached, and returned to write his far-reaching book. No other journalists felt that the Island Games tournament in the Shetlands was one which need trouble their diaries, but in this book the most important stories are the ones flung far from the great clubs and nations which fill the back pages.

1 comment:

Michael Symons said...

Hi Steve,

I have been trying to contact FIFA to speak to them about a documentary I am hoping to start filming, but getting through to them is not easy! I hoped therefore that perhaps you may be able to help as it could of interest to the non-FIFA states? The (basic) idea is below, please feel free to contact me for any more information.

I work for a Production Company called Missing Button Productions and would very much like to speak to someone about a football documentary we are hoping to film during the build-up to 2014 FIFA World Cup. It is an 18 month project involving all of the Continental Confederations and the support of Concacaf would be greatly appreciated. It’s based around football and the importance the sport plays in bringing people together around the world, how it crossers the boundaries of war, famine, politics etc. We also want to raise funds for charity, preferably an international children’s charity like Unicef.

Kind regards,

Michael Symons