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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Scenes...
Being one of the small percentage of the population who doesn't profess to like (or, really, understand) football at any level, I thought this might be a challenging read. My one attempt at travel off the beaten track in Scotland also ended in defeat, in the form of being refused service in a corner shop & eventually abandoning a miserably damp caravan holiday in the...
Published on 28 Dec 2010 by Craggsy

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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars In search of the heart of Scotland
Tired of football's commercialisation, and attempting to return to what he sees as the `roots' of the game, Daniel Gray's `Stramash' takes the reader round twelve Scottish towns, relaying both the history of their football sides, and also the histories of the towns; often focusing on industry, literary heritage and politics, in his social study. There's no doubt that...
Published on 5 Jun 2011 by Mr. D Burin


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Scenes..., 28 Dec 2010
This review is from: Stramash: Tackling Scotland's Towns and Teams (Paperback)
Being one of the small percentage of the population who doesn't profess to like (or, really, understand) football at any level, I thought this might be a challenging read. My one attempt at travel off the beaten track in Scotland also ended in defeat, in the form of being refused service in a corner shop & eventually abandoning a miserably damp caravan holiday in the Highlands.

So I was surprised to find myself hypnotised by this book, to the extent that I devoured it in less than a week. Not only does Gray manage to describe on-pitch action in an involving and frequently hilarious fashion, but his adventures off the pitch are informative, heartwarming, affectionate and (again) deeply amusing. The author resists the traditional English urge to point at the Scots and mock their love of disgusting beverages, lank-haired comics and vacillation between radical politics and opiated myopia; instead, this book is a brilliant exploration of small town Scotland's rich and fascinating history, and how the non-Old Firm football teams have both reflected and influenced this.

If you are in any way interested in football, Scotland, history, left-wing politics or just amusing tales about ketchup delivered in a high-pitched Scottish accent, this will be an informative and enjoyable read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Football and whimsy, 27 Jan 2011
This review is from: Stramash: Tackling Scotland's Towns and Teams (Paperback)
What a fantastic little book this is. If you've grown tired of the commercialisation of football, much like the author clearly has, then this is the book for you. Dan takes a chapter each to take in a lower league game combining each chapter not only with a review of the game but also a bit of history about the place and a nice wee social commentary on the personalities in the crowd.

An utterly fantastic review with just the right level of football and whimsy. On top of this, it also poses some interesting questions regarding the future of Scottish football such as how do lower league teams counter the fact that many of their potential fan base leave their town each Saturday to go watch the Old Firm play.

Great read, highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 26 Nov 2011
This review is from: Stramash: Tackling Scotland's Towns and Teams (Paperback)
A view of Scottish football from the other side. Ignoring the overwhelming and smothering influence that the premier league has on the game, this goes where most dare not tread, where you can stand on the touchline and see football at its best. This is a look at local teams playing with passion and spirit and the communities they represent.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Braw, 4 Jan 2011
This review is from: Stramash: Tackling Scotland's Towns and Teams (Paperback)
I loved this book. What surprised me is it's not really about football, but the people and communities that are bound by a shared passion.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and Rewarding, 29 Aug 2011
This review is from: Stramash: Tackling Scotland's Towns and Teams (Paperback)
A fascinating and rewarding read which is as much a travelogue and about social history as it is about football. You can visit, with the author, towns and places famous for their football teams eg Ayr, Greenock and Cumbernauld. This book recognises the damage done to local support by the emphasis placed on the 'Old Firm', and shows that there is another side to Scottish Football.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars In search of the heart of Scotland, 5 Jun 2011
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This review is from: Stramash: Tackling Scotland's Towns and Teams (Paperback)
Tired of football's commercialisation, and attempting to return to what he sees as the `roots' of the game, Daniel Gray's `Stramash' takes the reader round twelve Scottish towns, relaying both the history of their football sides, and also the histories of the towns; often focusing on industry, literary heritage and politics, in his social study. There's no doubt that it's nice to read a book which takes the focus away from the sides constantly on the front and back pages of the newspapers, and constantly discussed on Sky, but Gray's study of Scottish football is too one-sided to be as rewarding and enjoyable as it should be.

Gray is best when evoking forgotten legends and matches of the sides in question, like with his loving descriptions of diminutive Alloa forward Willie Crilley, and archaic crowd trouble at Montrose, but in his comparisons of the teams and towns with football at a higher level, the book falls down. Gray's gripes at monopolising Supermarkets taking over local shops, for example, is a fair point, but one that disrupts the book due to his constant hammering home of the point, and his almost childish dislike of anything to do with the Old Firm, constantly turning any reference to them into a snipe, detracts from the value of the work. There's still enough to enjoy in `Stramash', with its enlightening histories of past industries, small-town footballing (and otherwise) heroes, and formations of football sides in community centres and local pubs, but it's buried under a one-sided devotion to praise the small and parochial, and to endlessly gripe about consumerism and the commercialisation of football. The chapter on Cumbernauld encapsulates the book. Gray here is happy to see a small town move away from its original home, despite sneering at the `reviled franchises' of the better known MK Dons (amongst others), but within the same pages, gives the reader some fantastic social and footballing history. For those wanting a glance at Scotland's small towns and local clubs, there are enough interesting historical points, tales of mecurial wingers and enjoyable anecdotes here to make `Stramash' a worthwhile buy, but don't be surprised if it's a book which frustrates you as much as it delights.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Scottish Football at its best, 29 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Stramash: Tackling Scotland's Towns and Teams (Paperback)
No collection of Scottish football books is complete without 'Stramash'. Daniel Gray has a great gift for seeing the beauty in what others dismiss as ordinary. This is a genuinely affectionate book and I smiled from start to finish.
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5.0 out of 5 stars better than i expected, 9 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Stramash: Tackling Scotland's Towns and Teams (Paperback)
i expected to see some wierd scene in small s*** towns by the title , but the book actually is articulated aboout som facinating historical stuff. excellent
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5.0 out of 5 stars Scotland's wee teams, 1 Aug 2013
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GSM (Lymington, Hampshire) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Stramash: Tackling Scotland's Towns and Teams (Paperback)
Thoroughly enjoyable with lots of "laugh out loud" moments - this should be a must read for all aspiring football fans (and all fans who shy away from the glory hunters of the various Premier leagues). In anticipation of a family trip to visit as many small town Scottish football matches as we can in a week, my son gave me this book as a birthday present. It was a thoroughly enjoyable read and, without repeating much of what has been said in other reviews, it really is a very good blend of all things Scottish (apart from grouse shooting and highland flings) and is well worth a read. If you like Ian Rankin and John Rebus (both feature in the book) and supporting the underdog, then this book is just for you.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Stramash, 18 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Stramash: Tackling Scotland's Towns and Teams (Paperback)
Essential reading for any football supporter who enjoys the beautiful game away from the glitz and glamor of the top flight.
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Stramash: Tackling Scotland's Towns and Teams
Stramash: Tackling Scotland's Towns and Teams by Daniel Gray (Paperback - 1 Nov 2010)
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