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Stamping Grounds: Exploring Liechtenstein and its World Cup Dream: Liechtenstein's World Cup Odyssey Paperback – 23 May 2002

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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown (23 May 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316859397
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316859394
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 12.7 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 792,967 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Charlie Connelly is a bestselling author and award-winning broadcaster.

He is the author of ten books, including the bestselling 'Attention All Shipping: A Journey Round The Shipping Forecast', and 'And Did Those Feet...: Walking Through 2000 Years Of British And Irish History'.

'Attention All Shipping' is one of the biggest selling travel narratives of the past decade, was a Radio 4 Book of the Week, and the audio version was voted the second greatest audiobook of all time in a Guardian/Waterstones poll in August 2008. 'And Did Those Feet' was also a Radio 4 Book of the Week, read by Martin Freeman.

Charlie was a presenter on the BBC Holiday programme, his first film for which won the Silver Thistle Award for international broadcasting.

He co-presented the first three series of Traveller's Tree with Fi Glover for BBC Radio 4 and devised and presented the acclaimed documentary 'Noel Coward, The Poet' for the same channel. He has been a regular guest on 'Excess Baggage' and has also appeared on BBC Radio 2, RTÉ Radio 1, Newstalk 106.2 and BBC Five Live. Charlie was shortlisted for the 2008 British Guild of Travel Writers' Radio Award for his work on Traveller's Tree.

He has written for a number of publications including The Guardian, The Times, New Statesman, Arena, Irish Times, Sunday Times, Glasgow Herald and - much to his accountant's amusement - the Financial Times. He has also written comedy scripts for RTÉ Radio One and wrote the well-received comedy show What's The Story?, broadcast in January 2011, for the same channel.

Charlie is a popular and entertaining public speaker, having lectured at the Royal Geographical Society, sold out the Edinburgh Festival and spoken at numerous events and festivals with venues for his solo appearances ranging from a sold out Glasgow Royal Concert Hall to the Toller Porcorum Village Hall in Dorset.

He has sung Blue Moon of Kentucky live on Uzbek national television with the country's biggest pop star, is an official ambassador for a breakaway Lithuanian republic, was once hounded by the UK national press after being falsely accused of intending to invade Rockall, was presented with an honorary team shirt with his name on by the Liechtenstein national football team and has been chased across the Great Plain by Hungarian gangsters. They thought he was someone else, but fortunately he didn't notice until they were arrested.

Charlie was born and raised in London. He now lives in Dublin.

Product Description


A damned good read ... charming, off the wall and well worth a tenner (SUNDAY TIMES)

Connelly has a relaxed style and an intelligent eye for people and places ... his hilarious account of following the Liechtenstein national team should be swallowed whole in one sitting (THE TIMES)

A wonderfully recondite book (OBSERVER)

A must for anyone who loves the underdog. (IRISH EXAMINER)

Book Description

Liechtenstein's World Cup Odyssey' - how a European principality of 30,000 people took on the world at football. And lost.

Inside This Book

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First Sentence
A pint, a paper and a perusal of the bookshops was all I had in mind that rainy afternoon in Charing Cross Road. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Alec McAllister on 26 Jun. 2002
Format: Paperback
For any football fan poisoned by the excess hype and crass commercialism of today's game, this is the perfect antidote. Connolly's account of Liechtenstein's World Cup campaign is charming and funny without ever being patronising. He introduces us to a team that though small (manager Ralf Loose can select from only two hundred players in the entire country) is far from being a Mickey Mouse outfit. From the back room staff through to the players they display a dedication and a professionalism that would put many other countries to shame. In the space of just eight years the team have travelled from being whipping boys (losing 11-1 to Macedonia) to being a well organised side capable of holding a Spanish side containing the likes of Raul, Mendieta and Hiero to just two goals. Not bad for a side containing just six full time professionals. Connolly introduces us to the characters behind the story and in passing gives us an insight into life in this tiny country of which he becomes increasingly fond. We meet Patrick Hefti, the appropriately named centre half, who must organise his career and banking exams around his football; Henry Zech, the sweeper, who is forced to miss a match because his vineyard is at a crucial stage of the harvest; Ernst Hasler the journalist who fills in three pages of sport everyday for the local paper; and Mario Frick the star centre forward who goes on to claim a place with Seri A side Verona. Such is Connolly's skill as a writer that the reader soon begins to empathise with these unlikely heroes as they battle to compete with the giants of football. This is not just a good football book; it's also a fine travel book and like all good travel books, come the end you feel as though you've just passed a journey in excellent company. When you do turn the last page you'll feel privileged to know something about this country and the wonderful people who represent it.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Gordon Charles Ros on 8 Jan. 2003
Format: Paperback
As a football fan and having lived and worked in Liechtenstein for a year, all I kept thinking as I read this book was: why the HELL didn't I write it? I would recommend this fantastic book to anyone who is either A) interested in football, B) interested in Liechtenstein or C) just wants a good laugh. I lived in Liechtenstein in 1988-99 (I think) and so can totally relate to alot of the things Charlie Connelly says about the country, its people and its football team. The best thing about the book is his hilarious use of irony and understatement which made me laugh out loud. As a student and teacher of German I would have liked Charley to say a bit more about the dialect (which is almost impossible to understand) but the book is about football afterall. A great book! I absolutely loved it! Read it!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By DGC on 5 Feb. 2003
Format: Paperback
is a great thing. Scandals, club v country, power crazed chairmen, great results away from home, apathetic fans. Just like being at home. A great read with a potted (or maybe not given the size) history of Liechtenstein. Held my interest all the way and I'd recommend it to anyone - even those who don't like football! Up there with Pasavotchka (excuse the spelling).
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By T. F. Kerr on 17 Oct. 2002
Format: Paperback
After reading about the (rare) highs and (frequent) lows of the Liechstenstein I am left in the position that I can only hope my own national side never faces them, as I would struggle to decide which side to support. Connelly writes and portrays the players and country in such a light that you can't help but to fall in love with this tiny nation. No longer am I ignorant of the talents of Martin Telser, or the potential of Peter Jehle, or indeed who the identy of the greatest journalist in the world is.
The book is truly laugh a minute, but while Connelly could have taken an easy route out and simply unfairly ridiculed the country and their team, he seems genuinly smitten by the country and there are more laughs at his own expense than at Liechstenstien.
If you are looking to rediscover football than look no further than this book. There are few books that I've taken more pleasure from reading than this.
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