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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read, a must for Bantams fans., 18 Jan. 2012
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This review is from: Paying on the Gate: A Bantam's Journey into the Heart of Lower League Football (Paperback)
Firstly, let me say that whilst my title says a must for all Bantams fans, fans of any club who have lived through triumph and dejection will be able to relate strongly to Jason's book.

As a fan slightly older than Jason I lived through all his footballing experiences and more but it gives me a great feeling bringing back wonderful and not so wonderful memories of following our beloved Bradford City FC. As a 3rd generaton City fan, i'd like to welcome Jason to the flock and can understand the wisdom of his change in allegiance from Manchester United to Bradford City!!!!

Seriously, Bradford City have hardly if ever been a fashionable club, maybe in our Edwardian Golden age but thats another story. The thing is though, once you are grabbed, you are smitten.

Jason has written the book to coincide with his life experience of schooldays to university to discovering music, drink and girls and the life of work, all honourable practices but always there was his club. Bradford City waiting for him like some 'Lorelei' calling him back if he strayed too far.

Well written in an engaging and entertaining style, it records Citys recent rise and fall from grace in a way that fans who lived it will remember with fondness and dread!!

Highly Recommended.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Paying on the Gate: A Bantam's Journey into the Heart of Lower League Football, 18 Jan. 2012
This review is from: Paying on the Gate: A Bantam's Journey into the Heart of Lower League Football (Paperback)
An absolute must buy for any Bradford City or football fan who knows and understands the ups and downs of the football league. Written in a very engaging style you get a real feel for when Jason fell in love with Bradford City. The book charts the rise and spectaular fall of city in the football league and is interwoven with Jason's move to university, falling in love with his wife, top nights out and getting a foot on the career ladder.

As a city fan reading this book it was great to relive some fantastic memories. Jason does an excellent job conveying the pride, passion, disappointment and frustration all football fans feel and will be able to relate to. Looking forward to read Jason's next book where he charts our rise again.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Step onto the roller coaster!!, 11 Feb. 2012
This review is from: Paying on the Gate: A Bantam's Journey into the Heart of Lower League Football (Paperback)
Having followed the author's writing on the sadly defunct Boy from Brazil Bradford City website, high expectations of the book were certainly more than met, and this is an enjoyable and evocative journey through a fairly remarkable period, both for the author and the football club.

There is a nice mix of personal and football memories, without overdoing either, and the journey remains well paced throughout. All key moments are dealt with in lots of memory evoking detail and Jason's passion for the club is very apparent throughout.

A great read for any Bradford City fan, particularly given the turbulent nature of the seasons covered (promotion, relegations, administrations etc etc!), and will help you understand why it all is so enduring to be a fan through thick and thin.

Despite the unavoidable Bradford City focus, the book would appeal to other long suffering and genuine football fans also.

Looking forward to the follow up book, charting the subsequent rise back to the top!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars City 'til I die, 9 July 2012
By 
Bantam Dave (Bradford, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Paying on the Gate: A Bantam's Journey into the Heart of Lower League Football (Paperback)
In 1997 Jason McKeown did the one thing that no football supporter, barring politicians, must NEVER do - he switched his allegiance from one team to another. Not only that, he switched from Britain's most glamorous club, Manchester United, to one of Britain's least glamorous clubs, Bradford City. Granted, when he decided to support City they were a team on the up. When taking over in 1994 Chairman Geoffrey Richmond had caused widespread merriment when he stated that City would be in the Premiership within five years, but he was proved right when in 1998-99 season City gained promotion.

Jason McKeown writes about what it was like to be a City supporter during those halcyon days. He also writes about his personal life at the time, linking it with City's fortunes on the field. I was interested to learn that his feelings about City's time in the Premiership were very similar to mine; whilst it was good to see some supremely talented players playing for the nation's best teams at Valley Parade, it never felt like City actually belonged there, most of the time it felt like we were uninvited guests at somebody else's party.

After two seasons in the top league, City were relegated but whilst it was expected that they would consolidate and become an established team in the top tier of the Championship it didn't turn out that way and just six years after playing in the Premiership City were playing in the basement league again. McKeown, like City, also struggled during those years. After gaining a degree at university in Sunderland he was unable to find suitable employment and found it difficult justifying the expense of attending City's matches from his home twenty miles away. Not only that, he had fallen in love with an American girl who was to become his wife, but as she was thousands of miles away he found it hard to cope with their separation. In this book McKeown eloquently writes about his life over this period and the part that his love of Bradford City played in it.

Being a fellow City supporter I loved this book. Reading it brought back many memories of good times and even more memories of times when times were bad. City supporters have had to put up with a lot over the past ten years, even at times thinking that the club would go out of existence due to financial problems, but as McKeown tells us, things could have been worse, we could have been Manchester United supporters. Okay, we could be watching a successful team but we would all know that we are totally irrelevant to the people that own the club. At least Bradford City supporters know that we are vital for the continued wellbeing of the club.

Although this is a must read for Bradford City supporters, there is enough in this book for most football supporters to enjoy.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Read!! Highly recommended!, 18 Feb. 2012
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Whilst I am actually a fan of Bradford's local 'rivals', Leeds United, I am also a football fan in general and this book was recommened to me by a friend. So, dubiously (I am a Leeds fan after all!) I downloaded it onto my kindle with the prospect of an 8 hour train journey ahead of me - a journey that I usually dread. However, whilst I immersed myself in the journey of the Bantams and that of Jason's time following them, my train journey passed incredibly quickly and I found myself trying to read faster and faster so I wouldn't have to break off from reading it when I arrived at my destination! I wasn't that far off finishing it!

This book offers a unique insight into a football fans experience of a rise to glory and then a fall from grace. Jason describes his emotions whilst on that rollercoaster. He also describes the way in which football affected his life overall, from his first girlfriend to his time away at University, some of the stories are very touching and heartfelt.

Whilst this book is obviously Bradford City based, I would recommend it to any football fan. All clubs have up and down spells and most fans will be able to feel empathy and relate to the Bantam's journey quite easily - especially those that have been in administration any time within the last 10 years or so!

Having read the book, I bought it for my Uncle to read as he is a Bradford fan.

I look forward to reading more from this budding football writer!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars you can relate to him, 8 July 2012
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This review is from: Paying on the Gate: A Bantam's Journey into the Heart of Lower League Football (Paperback)
Been a city fan for many years,this book describes what the last few years supporting bradford city have been like in a true and honest fashion.The auther Jason is a typical lower league football supporter and delights when things are good and questions himself when things are grim like, what am i doing here ,when witnessing a poor display.Having been down we(as we tend to get) in the lower leagues ,supporters hope the next week will be better and as weekend looms and our zest for the game comes back.Well written with a touch of "you had to be there humour"it is well worth a read but dont expect a fairytale ending.life is not likethat in the lower leagues arnt like that.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic read!!!, 24 April 2012
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This review is from: Paying on the Gate: A Bantam's Journey into the Heart of Lower League Football (Paperback)
Got this book for my Holidays after reading so many great reviews about it and I wasn't disappointed.
It's a fantastic book not just for Bradford City Supporters but for the Football fan in general.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Fan's view of the Bantam rollercoaster, 10 Jun. 2013
This review is from: Paying on the Gate: A Bantam's Journey into the Heart of Lower League Football (Paperback)
From the late nineties to the late noughties, Bradford City really went on a rollercoaster ride: promotion to the Premiership, last-match survival, relegation, multiple financial crises, relegation and yet more relegation. Jason McKeown tells that story from the point of view of a new Bradford fan. It falls between two stools slightly - part of the book is a Fever Pitch-style fan autobiography, part is more a history of Bradford City. The best parts are the City histories; McKeown doesn't have the humour to pull off the Fever Pitch sections and I'm afraid the strand throughout the book that follows his life is a little dull. Maybe this book suffers from the lack of a decent editor who could have advised him to cut down those sections and who should have picked up on the many typos and grammatical errors (most memorably mixing up "public" with "pubic"!) For Bradford City fans, this is a 4-star read. For others, 3 stars is more suitable.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good Read, 21 Nov. 2013
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This review is from: Paying on the Gate: A Bantam's Journey into the Heart of Lower League Football (Paperback)
well worth a read even if you are not a Bradford City fan.
It cover the up and down of supporting and watching a club in the lower league,and a club that not long ago was in the premier.
with all the top clubs around the north of england,it great to read an account of someone who chose to watch a lower league club
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5.0 out of 5 stars Essential for any Bradford (or football!) fan, 26 Nov. 2013
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I bought this book to pass a couple of hours whilst travelling to London, but ended up completing it before I had even started the journey! A genuinely interesting read for both Bradford and non-Bradford fans alike; if you have follow the Bantams this book will bring back some great (and not so great) memories and also remind you of a few players you may have forgotten; even if you don't know much about Bradford you will appreciate the author's retelling of his transition into married life and his attempts to balance his changing commitments with his love of the team.
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