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Manslaughter United: A Season With A Prison Football Team Paperback – 3 Aug 2000


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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Yellow Jersey Press; New Ed edition (3 Aug 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 022405175X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0224051750
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.8 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 585,012 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

Many footballers have aspired to hard man status over the years: Norman Hunter, Chopper Harris, Vinnie Jones.

Chris Hulme spent a season with the Kingston Arrows, a prison football team playing in the Portsmouth North End League. The starting line-up--nine convicted murderers and two of their warders.

Against the backdrop of a season of amateur football, the men talk candidly of lives lived in prison--the game on Saturday and the game of getting to Saturday with mind, body and hope of release intact.

It's an engrossing read, but these aren't comedy villains in a knockabout tale of the power of football to change lives. The stories of brutal living and brutal crimes are genuinely harrowing; their victims and their families, though not the subject of this book, are an inescapable presence.

There is little sense either of a redemptive quality in the hours of reflection that prison has forced upon them. Instead, Hulme presents us with the stark fact that these men and their crimes are inseparable.

"I'm kicking, I'm stamping on her forehead, all around her chest, probably her arms and legs... I tried to have my way with her, but all I could see was this person beaten to a pulp... Would I give my life for hers? It's just never going to happen, is it?."

Hulme is confronting the reader with very difficult subject matter, and it's a mark of the extent to which we have made a totem of sport, that the football makes this an entertaining read. --Alex Hankin

Review

"An extraordinary book. Buy it, read it, treasure it" (Sunday Times)

"Porridge meets Escape to Victory. A witty, moving and wholly original read" (Daily Mirror)

"Electrifying... a riveting account of what football can mean when you, quite literally have nothing else to live for" (Pete Davies)

"A great slice of sports writing" (Total Football)

"A moving, enthralling and extraordinary book" (Maxim)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 31 Oct 2000
Format: Paperback
A season in the life of a prison football team comprised of nine convicted murderers and two guards. This book is essential reading for football fans and also for anyone with an interest in criminology. Provides a stark picture of the bleak life of a 'lifer', the importance the match on Saturday assumes when you really haven't got anything else in your life, but also the redemptive possibilities offered by sport. It's a well earned slap in the face to anyone who thinks prisoners have an easy life. Crucially, Hulme recognises that murderers are just people, with human faults and weaknesses - yet he makes no excuses for them. Indeed, their stories are told warts and all - which is how it should be.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 11 Oct 2000
Format: Paperback
This book shows what football is really about and why millions of people around the world are so passionate about the 'beautiful game'. It gives a fabulous insight in how the characters daily grind is removed for 90 minutes once a week.A truly great read.
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By A Customer on 1 July 2000
Format: Paperback
Chris Hulme takes us into the minds and boots of a prison football team. The so-called redeptive spirit of sport is given a tough examination by the author as he listens to the storys of Kingston Arrows footballers. There are no easy answers and it seems that football is the only positive thing these men have inside our prison system. Having played football regularly with the author it is clear that he writes about the game much better than he plays it!
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By A Customer on 16 July 2000
Format: Paperback
This book gives a presumably honest account of genuine hard men playing footballers, as opposed to the rather predictable opposite. Their love of the game, and the detailed tactics give a fascinating insight against the backdrop of their bleak and often vicious lives. You can't help warming to the various players, despite learning why they are there. The unsung hero, Nigel, bravely keeps the whole show on (or rather off) the road. It's a great read.
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