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Football Voodoo: Magic, superstition and religion in the beautiful game [Paperback]

Chris Roberts , Daniel Morgenstern

Price: 9.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

18 May 2010 Religion in the Beautiful Gam
Football Voodoo covers those areas where soccer collides with sorcery from players' superstitions and rituals, use of colour, symbols and invocation right the way up to hiring mediums, witches and shamans to invoke curses in a bid to change the course of a team's fortunes. This is a world of hexed grounds, unlucky shirts, magic horses and burying cattle under goalposts. A place where managers urinate on corner flags, goalkeepers in the six yard box and dog mascots on defenders. It's a light hearted and easy to read volume by Chris Roberts who was previously responsible for books on the history of nursery rhymes (Heavy Words Lightly Thrown) London's bridges (Cross River Traffic) and redundant English words (Lost English).

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More About the Author

London based writer and tour guide. My interests include history and folklore, especially London's, and of the river Thames and London's bridges. I am the author of books about the latter as well as one on the history of nursery rhymes, "lost" English words and football and superstition. I also co wrote a musical about Margaret Thatcher and am responsible for the Evening Standard Headline Generator and the Art Term Bingo Game.

Current projects include co-presenting the cult football radio show Cafe Calcio on Resonance 104.4 FM which examines the social, political and cultural aspects of the game. Previous series have featured the Football Art Masterclass, Tacticus a Latin speaking football correspondent and the next one will examine the links between soccer and contemporary dance. I am also working on a book provisionally entitled an A-Z of redundant careers about jobs that no longer exist.

Information about most of these can be found at www.fandmpublications.co.uk
I can be stalked on Twitter @oneeyegrey

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From the Author

It'll probably come as no surprise that the idea for Football Voodoo occurred to me in a pub. More specifically, and less obviously, in a room above a pub Holborn whilst a witch explained how she prepared for a ritual. As I listened to her describe how she focused her mind, donned a sacred kit and kissed a symbol before entering a sacred marked off space for some reason the image of Wayne Rooney kissing the Newton Heath crest at Goodison popped into my mind. So began a chain of thought that led to the book. How I managed to mentally jump from a flame headed wiccan in Central London to a talented lad from Liverpool 11 with a low centre of gravity is something that I'll probably let psychologists work out if I ever make enough money to afford proper psychiatric care.

Psychology weaves its way through the book and many practices that could be regarded as superstitious, religious or even obsessive compulsive have a sound psychological and in the case of colour, evolutionary biological, underpinning. In this way the research meandered away from straight forward witchcraft and folkways into sports psychology and various associations of symbols, colours and numbers which naturally are something football has in superabundance. There is also the question of chanting and the impact of prayer so it seemed foolish not to add in something on, what must today be referred to as, the terrace anthem or indeed the priestly aphorisms of the manager. The aim has been to provide an overview of all of these areas, hopefully without repetition and too much reliance on the foibles of contemporary superstars.It also means that over the past few years there have been many rewrites, additions and subtractions as well as tactical re-arrangements. However I hope this is the best formation and that what you have is entertaining but solid at the back as well as providing a lot of good stories to kick about.

About the Author

Written by Chris Roberts author of Heavy words lightly thrown (Granta 2004) on the history of nursery rhymes, Cross River Traffic (Granta 2005) about London's Bridges and Lost English (Michael O'Mara 2009) which concerned everyday phrases that have recently left the language. He also edits 21st century penny dreadful One Eye Grey which resets old London folktales in the present day.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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