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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars45
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 26 June 2011
I have read many books where it is obvious that the author is not a true fan of the subject whether it be a biography or otherwise. I am pleased to say that this book is clearly wrote by someone who enjoys and has enjoyed following the fortunes of his local Northern League club since childhood. Last season Mark Cowan decided to pen his experiences as Guisborough Town FC aimed to win promotion from the Northern League Second Division back to the First Division after several years building up relationships with the fellow clubs and of course building up a squad that not only plays attractive football but could score goals and win matches. It was not a Thomas Hardy that did this but it was a Chris Hardy and I did read "Far From the Madding Crowd" for my English Literature O Level. That was many years ago and this book cannot be compared as it is so much funnier and full of interesting facts and anecdotes of the clubs Guisborough Town players and fans travelled too in the season, most of the games had happy endings as indeed Guisborough Town did indeed gain promotion. This book is an obvious recommendation for people who live in the Northern League area which stretches from in Cumbria to North Yorkshire and ascends to Northumberland taking in the areas of Durham, Tyneside and Wearside on the way. People who follow the teams Mark writes about will be interested as well as people who love to visit grounds and are pleased to be known as Groundhoppers for their dedication to the sport and support of Non League Football and the clubs they visit. This book has the potential to be a League Topper so buy, read and enjoy.
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on 21 June 2012
As a football supporter and someone living in the north east of England, this book immediately appealed to me. Mark Cowan describes, in his own unique and incredibly funny (at times!) way, a season following Guisborough Town in the Northern League (tier 5 of English football).

However, this book is not just a collection of match reports (although each game is described) but a detailed journey of the different places that he visits with an incredible amount of facts and interesting anecdotes, as well as some superbly chosen similes - as useless as a lid on a McFlurry is one of my favourites! The amount of research that has gone into discovering about local history makes this much more than a book about a football team.

His descriptions of the highs and lows of following a team that many people will not even know exist, is fabulous. The passion that he has for his team is infectious. The fact that he chose a successful season for his team makes this book even more special: promotion and cup winners!

It is a book that I would highly recommend and a bargain at less that £2 (on the Kindle). If you enjoy football, you'll enjoy this book. If you like to discover a lot of intersting facts, especially about the north of England, you'll enjoy this book. If you enjoy being entertained, you'll enjoy this book.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!
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on 2 June 2013
. As someone who followed the rollercoaster season that Kidderminster Harries had 2012/13 this book brought the excitement of real football alive. This was a great read captured all the realities of football at this level, the idiosyncratic fans and grounds.. Cowan evokes the atmosphere of the north east I couldn't put it down.
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on 24 June 2012
I'll keep this review short as the other reviews on here describe it far better than I ever could! But I need to write something as this book was brilliant, if you have read Harry Pearson's the Far Corner, then you will love this. It is written in a similar vein, but exclusively about the Northern Premier League, which is one of the most competitive leagues in the country, and the author takes you on a journey following his team Guisebrough FC through the 2010-2011 season.

It was a funny book in places, he apologises for his pun's but there was no need to apologise, as they were clever and funny, especially the Elvis ones! He also gives his views on many other football opinions, and many anecdotes too. I could stop reading it once I had started.

Overall a brilliant book and a must read for all football fans.
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on 9 December 2013
Mark Cowan follows Guisborough of the Northern League, with comments on all the games played, as well as considerable background detail about grounds, clubs' fortunes, supporters and officials he met and some of the towns in that League. There are a lot of books of this type, and this holds up well against most of them...often witty, perceptive and written with a real feeling for non league football and its pleasures and problems. I enjoyed three quarters of the book, but felt that the long ending, where virtually every player and official from Guisborough was commented on, in a favourable, bland football programme style, was overlong and ultimately not needed.
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on 17 September 2014
A good book, especially for someone like myself who supports a league 2 club that has stared relegation in the face. All in all it's a good read, learning about the club's in their division and how tough it is to survive was interesting, the author certainly doesn't lack passion for his subject. It's written with a certain amount of charm and wit. On the downside it's a tad long, at times the witty remarks can grate a little and an editor would have made it much more polished. However, it's like the football it describes, honest, down to earth, in some ways lovable but rough around the edges. It's worth a read - give it a go fellow footie fans!!!
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on 16 May 2013
Wow this is a brilliant well written football book that doesn't have any of the over sized egos of modern premiership footballers autobiographies that seem to be just another way of making money for these overpaid players, this is a simple story of a non league side GUISBOROUGH and there aim to be promoted into the northern league 1.

The author blends local history and knowledge with accounts of every game home and away through this dramatic season, well they achieve there aim, am afraid you'll just have to read it yours self to find that out!

Brilliant 5 star read!!!!!
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on 10 September 2013
This is an absolute treasure and I've not read a better book of its type. The author engages the reader with an insight into the non-league world whilst managing to make us care for the outcome and consequently it grabs you by the throat and wont let go! I read it within days which is lightening fast for me and was disappointed to reach the end. At the time of writing this review I cannot find anything else by the author but suffice to say that should Mark Cowan produce another I'll purchase on the strength of the first book.
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on 21 June 2012
Mark's book takes us through the ups and downs of Guisborough's season in the Northern League, where men are men and centre-halves take no prisoners!
Written with humour and rare insight into the history, geography and sporting traditions of the North East the passion generated by non-league football leaps from the page.
If you enjoy local football then you must read this book. If you have never seen your local team play , then you must go and see them and then read this book!!
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on 7 January 2013
An excellent read. You feel as though you are at every game with the author. His play on words is superb throughout. He brings the banter and characters from the Northern League to life. As a follower of Northern League football now in Scotland it brings back so many happy memories. This is real football played by individuals who play for the Jersey' s and their dedicated band of followers week in and week out. The poem at the end is also a lovely touch.
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