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The funniest football book this Christmas:Harry Pearson

October 20, 2009

GUARDIAN sport columnist and former When Saturday Comes writer Harry Pearson has re-released the funniest book on football this Crimbo, ‘Dribble:The Unbelievable Encyclopaedia of Football’.
It’s brilliant, just got it this evening and have been in hysterics.
Pearson has produced THE funniest piece of football writing when reflecting on the signing of the artistic southern Spanish wing meister Reyes by Arsenal a fewyears back.
But ‘Dribble’ packs his gag a paragraph style into a tremendous book. I’ve just got finished sections A-D and to use the language of my students ‘am well impressed’ and Pearson is a ‘complete legend, man’.

Some examples:
‘Sometimes when sports people speak it is necessary to interpret carefully what they say. The phrase consummate professional, for example,is short-hand for for, ‘He was so peripheral I didn’t even notice him until he thumped that bloke when the ref wasn’t looking.’


‘The era of a football fan’s life in which he or she starts to sound like his/her father. Usually begins in the mid-forties and is characterised by a tendency to say, ‘Cristiano Ronaldo? He’s not fit to lace George Best’s boots’, ‘There just aren’t the characters in the game any more and ‘Call that a tackle! He couldn’t tackle a fish supper.’

‘Well, you know the quality of light in Valencia is extraordinary, it’s almost as if the very air is alive – GET STUCK IN BROWN, YOU FANNY MERCHANT – I think it’s something to do with flat landscapes and water because, and this will sound funny – WHERE’S YOUR FLAG, LINESMAN, WEDGED UP YOUR ARSE? – the only other place I’ve
encountered anything like it was on the salt marshes near Holkham. It was early evening, a thunderstorm was brewing and it gave this amazing golden tinge to everything that was positively ethereal – JESUS CHRIST, WILKO, YOU BLIND BANDY-LEGGED POOF – and really quite enchanting.’

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