A Last Word Book Review: “A Random History of Football”
A Random History of Football
A Random History of Football is (BBC Radio host of world-renown sporting program “Fighting Talk”) Colin Murray’s first book. Like much of Murray’s work it is hard to really summarize any of this book as the title indicates. A Random History of Football means switching on the fly from topics such as “Mascot brawls” to goals scored in surreal fashion. This book takes the sifting pan to the crazy history of international and club football and pulls out several hilarious and jaw-dropping nuggets.
Also contained within the list are several other intriguing story lines: What are the most ridiculous things footballers have ever been exchanged for? What happens when you get a club tattoo from a parlor supporting its biggest rival? What happened to a man who cycled all the way from Brazil to Mexico to watch his beloved country? The book also includes an eye-opening XI of the best players who smoked in the history of football. Plus at the bottom of every page is an interesting fact about every single league club in Great Britain, all the way from the Aberdeen to Yeovil Town.
The purpose of this book is to give a broad and random view of the history of football. It is absolutely achieved as Murray moves from one story to another with his signature precise transitions that keep the book moving at an impressively quick pace. The book, despite being writing with simplicity in terms of word choice, still presents plenty of interesting facts that could not be compiled in any other format then the one Murray has chosen. The collection of facts are too broad to be categorized.
This book is certainly not written objectively, but for in this case that only contributes to a book that reads like an actual conversation with one of the most charismatic characters in radio sports. Murray rants about his support of Liverpool and Northern Ireland and taps into a vain that is present in every single sports fan. Whether a Liverpool supporter or a United supporter certain chapters in this book will make you consider the best moments of your supporting life.
A Random History of Football is written clearly and with simplistic diction. This makes the book a very light read that can be read easily without plenty of concentration. At the same time it is filled with incredible facts that are highly educational for football supporters. While the facts are not presented in an academic manner they seem to check up upon research and honestly none of the stories contained within this work could ever be presented professionally.
I would absolutely recommend this book. Murray has done an absolutely exceptional job in penning this and should be commended for his efforts. I can almost guarantee, no matter how many football stories you have heard in your life, written within this book will be one that you have never heard of nor thought possible. This is the kind of book that keeps you happy throughout the reading and it is about as informative a comedic sports writing as I have ever read.
The only criticism I would have for this book is that you want there to be more. When the book is done you wish that Murray had added more content as there is sure to be plenty more seeing as how there is more than a century of history in this sport. At the end of the book Murray mentioned the possibility of a second volume but three years after the original was released it is unclear whether it will ever be published.
For any football fan this book is an essential read. If you are not a supporter of the sport this still may be a great read simply because the story telling and content is intriguing.
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