Sunday, 25 June 2017

From Crawley to Carlisle a trawl around league two

Chris Upfield, who is a dedicated Portsmouth FC fan has decided to write a book which is a humour filled observation of the experiences of fellow fans of lower league football clubs.

Chris invites us to join him and his family and friends as they journey to  faraway places (Well, what passes for far away in Britain)  as they follow their beloved Pompey (Portsmouth FC) and the variable successes or otherwise of the team that Chris (on page one, mind!) cheerfully describes as "the team with the worst away record in the league. Even so, on this particular occasion hey'd managed to give poor old Cambridge a 6-2 drubbing. Away to Cambridge.

Chris' style is humorous and quirky. Within the first couple of pages he manages to find himself wondering what difficulties a Cambridge support with one tooth might have with the pronunciation of certain letters of the alphabet, how a toothless Spanish could ever get served when he was attempting to order a beer, or how a toothless German World War 2 officer could have ever convinced a POW that they had ways of making people talk.

He also wondered if the local taxi firm has been taken over by South-west Trains, after waiting for a taxi in the freezing cold for the best part of an hour.

His group had decided to splash out on a hospitality package for the match with twelve tables crammed into a room the size of an office, where everyone was entertained with a football quiz sheet consisting of ten questions.

There then followed a three course meal of mushroom soup with bread rolls (thought to be of the "bake in the oven" variety) eaten well before the 45 minute late soup, in order to stave off the temptation to resort to cannibalism, the soup was described as lacking in mushrooms and having "a tarmac sort of hue."

The main course was a steak and stilton pie (light on the stilton) with tinned peas and a bowl of vegetables believed to be frozen, which was totally inadequate for a table of 11 hungry adults.

The lemon dessert, however, was described as "passable."

Chris then turns his eye to the other VIP guests and notices former stars form previous footballing eras, then there was the report on the match with the surprising 6-2 result.

The rest of the book follows Chris and his party of family members and friends as they travel around the country from football club to football club, taking in cities such as Carlisle, Crawley, York, Oxford, Ipswich and the like.

The book is a good and amusing read for diehard football fans and those with only a passing interest in the "beautiful game." Especially for those who follow teams in the lower leagues.

It is published by Matador at £8.99 and is available for purchase here

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