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?