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Black & White Army: A Season Supporting the Toon Paperback – 1 Aug 2003
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OVER the past few years, no other set of football fans has ridden such an emotional roller-coaster as Newcastle United's ever-faithful Toon Army. Ten years ago the club teetered on the brink of probable extinction, hanging just one game away from a crippling relegation to the Third Division. Yet today the Magpies compete at the top of the Premiership, challenge football's best in the Champions' League, and are well established among Europe's elite. The 2002-03 season was typically nail-biting and unpredictable. Newcastle were involved in a thrilling Premiership campaign, and made an historic charge into the last 16 of the Champions' League. Yet they were eliminated from both the FA and Worthington Cups at the first hurdle. Through it all the Toon Army remain hopelessly optimistic, defiantly witty and fiercely loyal. Toon Army follows these supporters of Newcastle United throughout that season and reveals the agony and the absurdity of being a 21st-century football fan.Travelling with the Toon Army through domestic and European competitions via Barcelona and Bolton, Manchester and Madrid, Sarajevo and Southampton, the book offers a cliff-hanging narrative, backed by an eye-opening analysis of why football fans are as they are. In addition to chronicling the author's own obsession, uniquely, the book contains the opinions of hundreds of Newcastle fans from across the world, collected via a specially-created website. Funny and true, they reveal the extent of the obession of the football fan, and leave the reader in no doubt that football is not 'only a game' - because no mere game matters enough to break your heart.
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Being a season ticket holder myself, i'm usually a bit sceptical when it comes to books that purpotrate to be from fellow season ticket holders - but this one is different.
The author encapsulates the life of a NUFC fan in a thrilling season very well. Providing narratives to the highs and the inevitable lows, the author writes with humour, humility and honesty.
Before reading the book I was wondering how the author's experiences would be compared to mine over the course of the season, and I was surprised that his shadow mine pretty accurately.
If you were there, this book will remind you about all the things your forgot (probably due to excessive broon!), and if you weren't there - this book is an accurate representation of what it was like.
Highly recommended, read it now!