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Balls: Tales from Football's Nether Regions [Hardcover]

Paul Brown
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

2 Sep 2004
Small boys, jumpers for goalposts, enduring image isn't it? But the so-called beautiful game is rarely so innocent, so clean cut or so damned romantic. Behind the dreamy facade of the world's favourite sport lies a superfluity of madness, badness and plain stupidity.BALLS is an eclectic anthology of amazing true stories from the world of football, revealing the bizarre and hilarious reality behind the beautiful game. Favouring left-field over legend, the book celebrates colour-blind referees, colourful commentators, dodgy kits, dodgier haircuts, footballers called 'Primrose', players with prosthetic body parts, dangerous goal celebrations, suicidal own goals, pathetic penalty misses, God-fearing goalkeepers, gun-toting fans, shocking scandals, horrendous tragedies, bung-taking managers, UFO-spotting chairmen and loopy matches involving animals, robots and Nazis. Recalling the antics of wayward geniuses like Paul Gascoigne, Diego Maradona and George Best, the book profiles football's most colourful and craziest characters. Who is the former top-flight footballer now living as a fully post-op transsexual? What possessed a World Cup superstar to kidnap 120 Cameroonian pygmies? Which ex-goalkeeper genuinely believes he is the son of God? Why was a former Southampton fullback offered the throne of Albania? And whatever happened to Maradona's fake rubber penis? BALLS trawls through soccer history and traverses the football world to uncover brilliant tales of footballing insanity. Who was the nineteenth century David Beckham? Was a former Everton striker really hung for stealing a sheep in Australia?

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Mainstream Publishing (2 Sep 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1840189304
  • ISBN-13: 978-1840189308
  • Product Dimensions: 2.7 x 13.3 x 19 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 617,140 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Paul Brown is a writer from the North East of England. He writes primarily about football, and has written for FourFourTwo, When Saturday Comes, The Guardian and many other publications and websites.

Product Description

Review

A bountiful year for football readers who prefer left-field to legendary. The best of the bunch, Paul Brown's 'Balls'. -- The Independent, Sports books of the year, 14 December 2004

Football has been given compendiums of curiosities before, but surely none so comprehensive as this... This could become your bible. -- Four Four Two, December 2004

From the Publisher

Balls is an eclectic collection of amazing true stories from the world of football, revealing the bizarre and hilarious reality behind the beautiful game. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A little bit more 5 Nov 2004
Format:Hardcover
This book contains stories that most seasoned Football fans will have heard before. Where this books scores highly is that each story always contains at least one piece of information that you probably didn't know. It's well written, humorous and reminds you that for all the Premiership millions, football can still be fun and an endless source of amusement.
The kind of book you get for Christmas and sit there reading and smiling to yourself while the kids run riot around you on Christmas morning.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Buy 22 Sep 2004
Format:Hardcover
A really entertaining look at the absurdities and eccentricities of the culture that surrounds Football. From Fat goalies, to snail paced strikers and minute centre backs, this book is a treat from start to finish.
Fans of the Danny Baker & Danny Kelly Football Phone-ins will especially be in their element as "Balls" features many of the stories that they will be familiar with including Football Groupie "Joanne" and the infamous "Wooden Bowtie" Story.
A must buy for all Football Fans with a sense of humour and Internet Treehouse fanatics.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Buy 6 Sep 2004
Format:Hardcover
A really entertaining look at the absurdities and eccentricities of the culture that surrounds Football. From Fat goalies, to snail paced strikers and minute centre backs, this book is a treat from start to finish.
Fans of the Danny Baker & Danny Kelly Football Phone-in shows will especially be in their element as "Balls" features many of the stories that featured including Football Groupie Joanne and the infamous "Wooden Bowtie" story.
A must buy for all Football Fans with a sense of humour and Internet Treehouse fanatics.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An alternative view of football 21 Sep 2004
Format:Hardcover
I like reading football books but find that many autobiographies and that type of book are very boring. This is completely different. It takes the most interesting players like George Best, maradona, Gazza, Garricncha, and a player called CB Fry, plus loads more, and tells the interesting bits of their lives. It also looks at funny and bizarre stories involving fans, referees and managers. There are sections on football records, films, scandals, even football plane crashes! It is almost an encyclopedia of funny and strange stories that have happened before, only written in a continuous easy to read style. Some you will already have heard and enjoy reading again, but some you will never have heard of or even imagined (Roger Miller and the pygmies springs to mind)! Overall, this is essential for any football fan who enjoys the funny and bizarre side of football, and it is a nice sized hardback book which would make a really nice gift.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An alternative view of football, some say soccer 5 May 2005
By Aspro - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This is a great romp through the alternative side of the world's favourite sport. It's "an eclectic collection of amazing true stories from the world of football, revealing the bizarre and hilarious reality behind the beautiful game." That's football, or soccer here in the US. (There is actually a great section explaining how the original US soccer league was closed down by worried baseball owners!) There are chapters on sex, drugs, violence, music and movies, and more. You'll also be able to find the answer to these questions:

Who is the former top-flight footballer now living as a fully post-op transsexual?
What possessed a World Cup superstar to kidnap 120 Cameroonian pygmies?
Which ex-goalkeeper genuinely believes he is the Son of God?
Why was a former Southampton fullback offered the throne of Albania?
And whatever happened to Maradona's fake rubber [...]?

If you like soccer/football, then this book is for you. It could also make those who don;t like football change their minds! Recommended - and also the UK's Independent newspaper recently named it one of the sports books of the year.
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