Last year, after fifteen years in his job, prize-winning American sports journalist Chuck Culpepper called a halt. He had been afflicted by Acute Sportswriter Malaise - a consequence not only of a growing awareness of a continent of sleaze (dotted with episodic honour) but also a deadening sense of triviality arising from 24-hour sports saturation. With access to the very stars he had once yearned to meet, he found himself wishing access unavailable. He needed a change. Chuck found himself moving to another country for the oldest reason in the book (love), winding up an ocean away in the UK. Here he found the world's most popular sports league (Premiership 'soccer'), one that reigns in Bulgaria and Burkina Faso, stokes the curiosity of half of China and half of Colombia, and prompts young men and women as far away as Mauritius to think up Manchester United songs that denigrate Liverpool. He began to visit stadiums and sat among big crowds, learning about a league choc-a-bloc with facts he didn't know, legacies that hadn't grown tired, and astounding fan noise he couldn't wait to comprehend. 'I actually went to Wigan. No one I ever knew had done that.' Most important, he discovered the Fear of Relegation, the race for 17th place in the Premiership. Relegation wreaks fear, envy, anxiety, desperation and humiliation - in other words, so many of the things still great about sport. Chuck decided to start his second sports childhood by following one club through the 10-month 2006-07 season: Harry Redknapp's Portsmouth. 'Up Pompey' - a journey from snide, abject cynicism to the freshest of goosebumps - describes Chuck's dramatic year spent burrowed in England's Premiership.