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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 7 December 2011
There were times during my reading of Andy Rivers' book when I felt I was reading my own diary from years gone by. We're the same age, attended a lot of the same matches, share similar views on the club and even our first Newcastle match appears to have been the very same game.

As the author gave a description of many of the places he saw growing up, I realised that I'd trodden the very same fields, been served by the same shop owner and been in and around the same pubs - slightly spooky at times. I half expected to see some names of people I knew cropping up before long.

I did enjoy reading this book as it indulged my passion for Newcastle United and gave plenty of coverage to the pre-Sky TV days of football (yes it did exist before Sky, they didn't actually invent the game!). Almost every chapter was devoted to selected games throughout the author's supporting history and he chose a nice cross-section and not just the glorious victories by any means.

The book's strength lies not in its description of the actual games themselves but in his experiences as a fan. I preferred his descriptions of his adventures before and after than his descriptions of during the game. I'd like to have seen him expand on these and somehow link the chapters, but perhaps that's asking too much. Indeed one of the most interesting parts of the book details his life working as a coach holiday rep - he certainly expresses himself very crisply and clearly and whilst you could not really say that the book is a literary marvel, it is fairly well written and his conversational style suits it very well.

His perfect articulation of the utter apathy that followed the initial dejection of Souness' tenure is there or thereabouts the most concise verdict on those dark, dark days. His take on Keegan is well observed and not diminshed by rose-tinted glasses or the modern Newcastle fan's dismissiveness.

I think one of the main dangers of a book like this is that they can sometimes descend into little more than a very very long post on a message board by somebody who loves the sound of their own voice, but Rivers avoids that with an amiable and varied flow speckled with humour and dry wit.

I would recommend it to Newcastle fans, though I'm not sure fans of other clubs will quite fully understand some of the subtler aspects of a perennially disappointed supporter of Newcastle United. I would however recommend it to those who accuse Newcastle fans of being delusional idiots who simply do not understand their 'rightful' place, so that'll be a lot of orders coming up from journalists and pundits then, won't it?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 11 September 2009
A thouroughly engrossing read that will strike a cord with "proper" football fans everywhere. I'm Rivelino is a well told story of what its like to follow your team through thick and thin over 3 decades. Full of funny and interesting tales of away match trips, trying to find a pub that will show the game when your away on holiday, blagging your way into corporate hospitality and boring nil nil draws all over the country. Some of Rivers' story's can seem a bit soul destroying but you can totally understand why he does it and that ultimately he wouldn't have it any other way. He also seems to really dislike Graham Souness for some reason.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 19 November 2013
As a die hard and lifelong disappointed Newcastle United fan in his early (cough cough) forties I can identify with the subject matter in this book down to a 't'.
Rivs had me captivated with this witty, factual, and sometimes sad dialogue, (RIP Col).
The book hails the fans, slams the board, rightly criticises the plethora of inept managers we seem to attract. The book truly brings home what its like to be a true 'elite' Newcastle United fan.
Throughout the past 30 odd years, we have seen some doom and gloom, some dark times and really die footie, Rivs also points out the glory and the pride felt on Tyneside as he reminisces about the true hero's, Sir Bobby, Wor Kev, Peter Beardsley, Gazza and of course Alan Shearer.

I loved the book and can share the experience of being a Newcastle fan.

One day, and i hope its in my lifetime, some billionaire will buy this 'small club in the North East', realise what potential it has, what a bunch of fanatical fans it has and turn us around into a decent outfit and a self sustainable money making machine... One day.......just one day.......

'Brilliant' Thanks Andy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 2 December 2013
I absolutely loved this book, read it in next to no time. It helps that i support NUFC, but i believe any football supporter will recognise (the english english spelling...) a heartfelt story of following the team that you love. I loved the way that there was clearly no bull or hyperbole in the events the author describes. I dont long for shocking conditions on the terrace, or police who thought supporters were scum, but i do long for the days where you could stand with your pals, all over the land (and at home), and it not costing you the earth. Bring in safe standing at affordable prices i say, & Howay The Lads!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 4 November 2013
I read Maxwell's silver hammer and enjoyed it so thought I,d give I,m Rivelino a go .Thoroughly enjoyed it brought. Back memories of my childhood on a council estate in Stafford.In those days(60 s) the only televised match live was the f a cup final .Memories of replaying the games with you mates in the street.Brilliant.Keep it up Byker publishing.Regards "Bobby Charlton" I wish!!!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 23 July 2009
What Andy Rivers give us in his superb debut,'I'm Rivelino', is a book for the true football supporter; the old school. Those of us that have spent most of their Saturdays standing on the terraces in the rain rather than squeezed into a plastic seat. Those of us that still refer to the four divisions in numbers and who still remember the days when managers wore tracksuits and every team had a fat midfielder.

Laced with ascerbic Geordie wit, Andy Rivers takes the reader through his life following his beloved Newcastle, from the tight-shorted days of the early eighties to the Sky dominated, money-laden spectacle we have today.

Matches are replayed - or to be more accurate - match days are relived. For it is in his descriptions of the banter, the lager, and the scams that Rivers truly excels. He takes us there, rooting for The Toon, staggering out of the ground to the nearest boozer, escaping from the opposition big lads. We're not only drawn into rooting for Newcastle, but for Rivers himself - one away day to Leeds is a particularly hilarious example.

But this is more than a book about football. It is a book about relationships. The relationship between the hierarchy of a club and the average supporter, the relationship between the supporter and the team, and most of all, the relationship between friends.

If Nick Hornby had been working class, perhaps he might have written this book. Thing is, Nick Hornby was never working class. He was a University bod from Surrey. His 'Fever Pitch', about his life as an Arsenal supporter, therefore, couldn't help harbouring . . . pretensions. I mean, Colin Firth played him in the film. Says it all, really.

'I'm Rivelino' has no such pretensions. It just tells it how it is.

A must read for every football supporter that's experienced the hope and the heartache of following their team for thirty years.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 20 December 2013
You don't have to be a Toon fan to enjoy this - I'm a Norwich fan, but the sentiments will chime with anyone who started going to footy in the eighties and saw it transformed through the '90s into to overblown and over hyped Premier League of today.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 10 January 2013
Very interesting read through the eyes of a true football fan, the highs and lows of football and the emotions every football fan feels for their club good or bad, the things that make it the best sport in the world
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 5 May 2013
The theme has obviously been used on numerous occasions since fever pitch but this is a well written and witty example. Led me on to read Andy's first novel which is an excellent read.
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on 2 October 2013
As a football fan, this was a nice read from an author who is obviously a die hard supporter rather than a writer creating s story

Chapters are short so ideal to pick up for 10 minutes or half an hour.
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