I was given this for my birthday. It is a Verified Purchase, just not by me.
What do England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Angola, Zimbabwe, South Korea, North Korea, Curacao (formerly Dutch Antilles), and even Scotland have in common? At various times since 1872, they have all been the Unofficial Football World Champions (UFWC). Forget the World Cup, as we all know that is fixed in favour of the bigger teams, much like boxing where the one who beats the reigning champion becomes the champion, many would argue that the country that holds the UFWC is the true World Champions. This revised and updated book explains all.
Though it didn't exist, when Scotland beat England in 1967, they claimed the title of UFWC. Years later, this prompted a trawl through the records from the first ever International match between England and Scotland in 1872 to determine which country could lay claim to that title. Though that game was a draw, the next one was won by England who were given the title of Unofficial World Champions. Since then, the title has been contested a further 907 times with Uruguay the current holders (though the statistics here are as of 1.1.2014).
Paul Brown's excellent book gives a match report on 120 of the more interesting 'finals' to have taken place, followed by a few more statistical pages, and it all makes interesting reading. Not only did England play two games on the same day back in 1892, it has contested the 'final' only four times this century, the same number as that football hotbed, Tajikistan. In fact England hasn't held the trophy, the CW Alcock Cup, since 2000. And that cup is the only photo you'll find here. Actually, it's not even a photo; it's a drawing.
Forget the over-hyped and mostly tedious World Cup itself. It's intriguing to read that the likes of San Marino, Liechtenstein, Chinese Taipei and Guam have all been in the 'final' and, unlike that tournament where the 'big boys' are favoured so it's only them that have a chance of winning, all those teams can become the UFWC.
If you have an interest in unusual football books, this is one to add to your list.
on 1 April 2012
This book was a purchase I'd owed myself for some time.
Anyone who watches football, is mildly or majorly obsessed with trivia and who enjoys the slightly more surreal or curious will enjoy this book. I was familiar with the UFWC (Unofficial Football World Championship) prior to buying but if you're not, look it up. If the premise appeals to you, this book covers its history pretty thoroughly without droning on interminably as such a book might find itself doing.
A good book to dip in and out of, perfect for commuting, say. Unless you're driving, when it isn't.