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Bamboo Goalposts [Kindle Edition]

Rowan Simons
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £7.99
Kindle Price: £6.25 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Book Description

Rowan Simons has lived (and played football) in China for over twenty years and Bamboo Goalposts is his amusing and insightful account of what it’s like to live, work and play there. He presents and works with Beijing TV and runs his own media company, but his real passion is getting China to embrace the social and health benefits of amateur football. Which isn’t easy in a country where for decades it was illegal for more than ten people to congregate for the purposes of a recreational sporting activity.

Rowan built a football pitch and clubhouse and now heads Club Football - http://www.clubfootball.com.cn – whose growing membership has given him genuine hope that by the time the Beijing Olympics begin in 2008 he might be getting somewhere. No other book communicates more clearly, more humourously and more affectionately what contemporary China is like when viewed through Western eyes. Rowan speaks fluent Chinese and his love of the country and its people shines off every page. He has lived there for so long that he understands what it takes to get ahead, but at the same time he is still very much a down-to-earth English football fan who just wants to share his passion for the beautiful game.

Bamboo Goalposts is a personal odyssey inspired by the selfless pioneers of amateur football who took the game around the world in centuries past, but somehow missed China.


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Product Description

Review

'Bamboo Goalpost is a highly unusual and very entertaining sporting book.'
-- Irish Mail on Sunday

`His great passion in life is football, and in this often hilarious book he describes his attempts to convert the Chinese to the joys of the amateur game. Since the authorities have an elitist attitude towards sport and regard any gathering of more than ten people as politically subversive, it's been an uphill struggle.' -- Mail on Sunday

Review

'Bamboo Goalpost is a highly unusual and very entertaining sporting book.'

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 707 KB
  • Print Length: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Pan; Reprint edition (30 Nov. 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004E9T0H2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #598,601 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Not a Sweet F. A. 10 Feb. 2015
Format:Paperback
When it comes to football, I'm in agreement with the great Bill Shankly when he said: "Football is not a matter of life and death, it's far more important than that". When it comes to China, my knowledge is limited to what I've seen on the TV recently about the earthquake, the Olympics and the protests; vague memories of Tiananmen Square and a love of the cuisine, or at least the version that comes from my local takeaway. Like many in the Western world, I have no concept of what life is truly like in China.

After an enjoyable "have football, will travel" opening, telling of Rowan's encounters with South America we then hear about how he came to be in China in the first place and his first attempts to play football while he was there. Having got there and decided to stay, he attempts to build his career, his life and the game of football in China.

The opening part made me think of one of Tony Hawks' travel books, as Simons writes with a similar relaxed feel that makes you think he's just one of your mates in the pub. Given that he's essentially talking about football and a holiday, this may not be so far from the truth. This light tone continues as he recounts his days as a student in China and I was starting to feel that this was going to be something akin to Tony Hawks "Round Ireland With a Fridge", except with a football.

Once he becomes more involved in living and working in China, the tone becomes a lot more serious, especially as he saw the events of Tiananmen Square first hand, although even these sections are easy to read, if less pleasant. Part of this is due to the Chinese way of life being so different to the English one that he's not just having to tell us about his life, he's almost having to explain it.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars People's football - one man's revolution 27 Aug. 2008
Format:Hardcover
A must for all those remotely interested by either football or China and preferably both! Englishman Rowan Simons manages to effortlessly entertain, amuse and inform us as he leads us on his own one man odyssey for the right to play amateur football in modern China. He combines his often hilarious anecdotes and extraordinary experiences with a rare insight into the history and culture of the game in a country he has clearly come to understand profoundly. From his student days in Tiananmen Square to his unlikely role as Chinese television's favorite soccer pundit, Simons treats us to a rare insight into the complexities of modern China. For anyone who has ever played the game, from Sunday league upwards, this is a fascinating, sometimes unbelievable and always enjoyable read. Highly recommended to all lovers of sport in general and football in particular, this book has to be read to be believed!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Problem with China 13 Jan. 2009
By A. Ross TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
I've long wondered why the Chinese national men's soccer/football team hasn't had anywhere near the success as their women's squad. Many of the ingredients appear to be there: large sports infrastructure, huge talent pool, a sport that doesn't favor a particular body type, and generally strong team spirit. Well, this is a book that attempts to answer that question and mostly does a pretty good job of it.

Simons is an Englishman who came to China as a university student in the late '80s, fell in love with the country, and hustled his way into a position to return and make a life there. He combined a few contacts in sports promotion and media with his Chinese language skills and an entrepreneurial spirit to build a multifaceted career in the just-developing Chinese television market. Be warned, it takes a good 100 pages of his backstory before the soccer content really gets going. But that's OK, because his stories about being a Westerner in Beijing when Westerners were relatively scarce are well-told. They're also en excellent reminder of the rapidity of China's growth and opening to the outside that's happened in the last 20 years. Indeed, probably the best part of the book are Simons' eyewitness accounts the Tienanmen Square protests and the bloody response.

The latter 2/3 of the book cover the choppy (and often corrupt) history of modern Chinese soccer, both at the national and and club level, along with the story of his own efforts to start an English-style amateur football club,and all the logistical, financial, and bureaucratic obstacles that faced. Simons lays the lion's share of the blame for the pathetic state of Chinese pro and national soccer at the door of the central government.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Holiday book i could not put down 2 Sept. 2008
Format:Hardcover
many football books about other countries just talk about how they have developed and grown and talk about their famous teams. This cannot be written about china as their football is not developed in such a way. The football history they have starts in the 3rd century with a game credited as the birth of football. fast forward 800 years and Rowan Simons could not find a place to play. This book is as much about a foreigner in china as it is football. This is the story of one mans mission to change a countries sporting psyche taking him from the tiananmen square protests to tv personality.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars bamboo shoots saved 11 Sept. 2010
Format:Hardcover
An interesting book on China but Rowan can come across as a bit too clever for his own good. Worth a read to maybe get a feel for what China thinks about football but not for those looking for a more human interest story
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