- Paperback: 150 pages
- Publisher: The Quince Tree Press; New edition edition (1 Dec. 1992)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0900847948
- ISBN-13: 978-0900847943
- Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 1.2 x 23 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 282,543 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
How Steeple Sinderby Wanderers Won the F.A.Cup Paperback – 1 Dec 1992
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It's a comic story about sportsmanship and underdogs; it's also a slightly wistful portrait of village life and provincial decency, as well as a beautifully written hymn to doggedness and eccentricity. This gently humorous novella is the anti-Ronaldo. (Robbie Millen The Times)
An extraordinary performance, simultaneously one of the greatest football novels ever written and a penetrating report card from a world where fiction rarely lingers, at once a comic masterpiece and a study in national temperament that the doughtiest social historian would struggle to match. (DJ Taylor Guardian) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
About the Author
James Lloyd Carr, born 1912, attended the village school at Carlton Miniott in the North Riding and Castleford Secondary School. He died in Northamptonshire in 1994. His novel A Month in the Country won the Guardian Fiction Prize, was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and made into a memorable film. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
It is the story of a small village football team which adopts the coaching theories of a Hungarian teacher(strangely prescient of Arsene Wenger), picks up a couple of ex professionals and fights its way to Wembley where Glasgow Rangers (newly admitted to the FA Cup) are defeated. Yes, in terms of plot spoilers, the title of this book is up there with the finest.
At its best the book is utterly charming and at its worst strays into whimsy. There is an entertaining cast of characters, Gidner, the narrator and all round geeky dogsbody, Dr Kosouth the theorist, the overbearing chairman Fangfoss, the ex-pros Arthur and Sid, and the independent woman, Ginchy Trigger.
The book is part homily to middle England, part satire upon it, part gentle assault on the powers who ran football at the time, and part boys own adventure.
A thoroughly entertaining light read.
This book was originally scorned by numerous people, but it has never stopped those who have read it giving this a special place in their heart, and it is easy to see why. Football is the national game and no one has written a funnier novel about it, also this has elements of pastiche, satire and parody. You don’t even have to like the sport to enjoy this book.
In all this is a bonkers read and is purely fantastical as we read of this team coming from nowhere to appearing at Wembley, a team made up of probably the least likely players. With pieces of this story appearing as sports coverage from the papers, and minutes from meetings this does make for a quick, easy and very funny read.
With a Hungarian teacher and his views on how to beat top football teams put into action by this small team from a little village somewhere in England it has to be admitted that a lot of ingenuity has to be used, such as making the local football pitch into something that will be off putting to other teams. Treating the game more as a very well thought out military campaign it is a shame that our national side haven’t taken tips from this book on how to win.Read more ›
It is a wonderfully entertaining and droll book which takes on several targets (pompous local bigwigs, sports journalists' prose, village institutions, celebrity TV interviewers etc.). It helps if you are a football fan but it is not essential.
The whole thing is a fantasy of course: it couldn't happen now and it couldn't happen then. There is no match by match progress (thankfully as it would get a bit tedious). It is worth reading the introduction which deals with various anomalies regarding geography and football.
Highly recommended. My son ( a fan of big football and not much of a reader) is probably getting this for Christmas.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Like stepping back in time to a mythical golden age not unlike that created by PG Wodehouse. Why had I never come across this book until now?Published 3 months ago by Ad Mitchell
Amusing,wry look at village life coupled with every boy's fantasy of winning the FA Cup!
Set in the days before the Premier League was invented
A delightful book, even if you have little or no interest in footballPublished 6 months ago by MR S.
Well written, amusing and easy to read. Good characterisation and well worth reading. I enjoyed it and would recommend it even if you are not a lover of the "beautiful... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Hertfordshire ACE
A forgotten gem - especially if you are a fan of anything to do with "the beautiful game". Rather dated language, but worth it for all that, this tale of an amateur team... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Both the Macs
A well written book in the "feel good mode". Short, pity and rather of the "Dad's Army" genre.Published 18 months ago by JRDS
I am writing this as every year when the FA Cup begins I am reminded of this book. I read it in 1996 after picking it up fo 50p and enjoyed every letter. Read morePublished on 7 Nov. 2014 by Madjak41