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Stramash!: Tackling Scotland's Towns and Teams by [Gray, Daniel]
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Stramash!: Tackling Scotland's Towns and Teams Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Length: 224 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Review

Review 1: 'There have been previous attempts by authors to explore the off-the-beaten paths of the Scottish football landscape, but Daniel Gray's volume is in another league as he mixes social history with sharp contemporary observation (and measured wit) in the classic outposts of the game which, together, epitomise the character of football north of the border.'

Source: The Scotsman, a Sports Book of the Year

Review 2: 'Truly splendid' -- Arthur Montford

'An excellent book about the country s smaller teams... [Stramash] captures the vague romance that still clings to these smaller Scottish clubs. It will make a must-read for every non-Old Firm football fan and for many Rangers and Celtic supporters too'

Source: Daily Record

Review 3: 'As he takes in a match at each stopping-off point, Gray presents little portraits of small Scottish towns, relating histories of declining industry, radical politics and the connection between a team and its community. It s a brilliant way to rediscover Scotland' -- The Herald 

'A great read, because Gray doesn’t write about just football, he uses football as an excuse to explore the histories of small towns in Scotland' -- The Skinny

'Why do the Gers and Hoops have retail outlets in the capital? Why do buses depart for Glasgow on a Saturday morning from every corner of Scotland? Gray’s book is a splendid attempt to answer these questions, and more besides... The result is sociology at its best, which is to say eminently readable... Stramash may turn out to be a memoir of the way we were, and an epitaph' -- Sunday Herald

'I defy anyone to read Stramash and not fall in love with Scottish football’s blessed eccentricities all over again... Funny enough to bring on involuntary laugh out loud moments'

Source: The Scottish Football Blog

About the Author

Daniel Gray is the author of Homage to Caledonia: Scotland and the Spanish Civil War. He has also written on football for When Saturday Comes and Fly Me To The Moon, the fanzine of his beloved Middlesbrough FC, and is a book reviewer for History Scotland and The Skinny, and also writes for the magazines The Leither and Scottish Labour Review. He is a 2003 Politics and History graduate of Newcastle University. His first book, the Historical Dictionary of Marxism, was published in 2005. He has yet to sell the film rights. Gray has worked as a researcher, contributor and writer on BBC radio and on STV's miniseries The Scots Who Fought Franco. He lives in Leith with his wife Marisa.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2051 KB
  • Print Length: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Luath Press; 1 edition (22 July 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00E2581HS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #190,263 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Being one of the small percentage of the population who doesn't profess to like (or, really, understand) football at any level, I thought this might be a challenging read. My one attempt at travel off the beaten track in Scotland also ended in defeat, in the form of being refused service in a corner shop & eventually abandoning a miserably damp caravan holiday in the Highlands.

So I was surprised to find myself hypnotised by this book, to the extent that I devoured it in less than a week. Not only does Gray manage to describe on-pitch action in an involving and frequently hilarious fashion, but his adventures off the pitch are informative, heartwarming, affectionate and (again) deeply amusing. The author resists the traditional English urge to point at the Scots and mock their love of disgusting beverages, lank-haired comics and vacillation between radical politics and opiated myopia; instead, this book is a brilliant exploration of small town Scotland's rich and fascinating history, and how the non-Old Firm football teams have both reflected and influenced this.

If you are in any way interested in football, Scotland, history, left-wing politics or just amusing tales about ketchup delivered in a high-pitched Scottish accent, this will be an informative and enjoyable read.
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Format: Paperback
What a fantastic little book this is. If you've grown tired of the commercialisation of football, much like the author clearly has, then this is the book for you. Dan takes a chapter each to take in a lower league game combining each chapter not only with a review of the game but also a bit of history about the place and a nice wee social commentary on the personalities in the crowd.

An utterly fantastic review with just the right level of football and whimsy. On top of this, it also poses some interesting questions regarding the future of Scottish football such as how do lower league teams counter the fact that many of their potential fan base leave their town each Saturday to go watch the Old Firm play.

Great read, highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Tired of football's commercialisation, and attempting to return to what he sees as the `roots' of the game, Daniel Gray's `Stramash' takes the reader round twelve Scottish towns, relaying both the history of their football sides, and also the histories of the towns; often focusing on industry, literary heritage and politics, in his social study. There's no doubt that it's nice to read a book which takes the focus away from the sides constantly on the front and back pages of the newspapers, and constantly discussed on Sky, but Gray's study of Scottish football is too one-sided to be as rewarding and enjoyable as it should be.

Gray is best when evoking forgotten legends and matches of the sides in question, like with his loving descriptions of diminutive Alloa forward Willie Crilley, and archaic crowd trouble at Montrose, but in his comparisons of the teams and towns with football at a higher level, the book falls down. Gray's gripes at monopolising Supermarkets taking over local shops, for example, is a fair point, but one that disrupts the book due to his constant hammering home of the point, and his almost childish dislike of anything to do with the Old Firm, constantly turning any reference to them into a snipe, detracts from the value of the work. There's still enough to enjoy in `Stramash', with its enlightening histories of past industries, small-town footballing (and otherwise) heroes, and formations of football sides in community centres and local pubs, but it's buried under a one-sided devotion to praise the small and parochial, and to endlessly gripe about consumerism and the commercialisation of football. The chapter on Cumbernauld encapsulates the book.
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Format: Paperback
A view of Scottish football from the other side. Ignoring the overwhelming and smothering influence that the premier league has on the game, this goes where most dare not tread, where you can stand on the touchline and see football at its best. This is a look at local teams playing with passion and spirit and the communities they represent.
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Format: Paperback
I loved this book. What surprised me is it's not really about football, but the people and communities that are bound by a shared passion.
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Format: Paperback
Thoroughly enjoyable with lots of "laugh out loud" moments - this should be a must read for all aspiring football fans (and all fans who shy away from the glory hunters of the various Premier leagues). In anticipation of a family trip to visit as many small town Scottish football matches as we can in a week, my son gave me this book as a birthday present. It was a thoroughly enjoyable read and, without repeating much of what has been said in other reviews, it really is a very good blend of all things Scottish (apart from grouse shooting and highland flings) and is well worth a read. If you like Ian Rankin and John Rebus (both feature in the book) and supporting the underdog, then this book is just for you.
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Format: Paperback
A fascinating and rewarding read which is as much a travelogue and about social history as it is about football. You can visit, with the author, towns and places famous for their football teams eg Ayr, Greenock and Cumbernauld. This book recognises the damage done to local support by the emphasis placed on the 'Old Firm', and shows that there is another side to Scottish Football.
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