Analysing the Middlesbrough Revival


The Football League play-offs for 2015 have so far been packed full of incident with that astonishing 5-5 draw between Swindon and Sheffield United the highlight. A vision up, much of the attention has been focused on the East Anglian derbies but the probable favourites for promotion at the time of writing are Middlesbrough, primed for a top flight return after a good few seasons in the wilderness. Here, …

Book Review: Scotball


Scotball by Stephen O’Donnell
Published by Ringwood Publishing
2014, £9.99

Following on from his impressive debut Paradise Road, reviewed in these pages earlier this month, Stephen O’Donnell’s Scotball has been a much anticipated book, promising as it does to lift the lid on the thorny issues facing the sport north of the border.

Peter Fitzpatrick, a supporting cast member from the earlier volume, returns to his canal side …

Book Review: The Old Firm: Sectarianism, Sport and Society in Scotland

Old Firm Sweets

The Old Firm by Bill Murray
Published by John Donald

On being asked once about the musical tastes of the Glasgow Rangers squad, Ally McCoist remarked that while he favoured the beat combos of the 1960s, most of his team mates favoured songs from the 1690s. Therein lies the rub of the bitterest rivalry British – and possibly world – football has ever known – an endless cause …

Book Review: Female Football Fans: Community, Identity & Sexism


Female Football Fans: Community, Identity & Sexism by Carrie Dunn
Published by Palgrave Macmillan
July 2014, £45

Judging a book by its cover, which of course we have all been advised never to do, this work by Carrie Dunn appears to be scholarly but not a forbidding, heavyweight tome. Dunn is an academic who teaches at Manchester Metropolitan University and a journalist who is well known for her writing, …

Semi Final Memories: West Bromwich Albion 2008


West Brom fans still fill cheated by defeat in the 2008 semi-final to a Portsmouth team living way, way beyond its means, writes Frank Heaven.

Spring 2008 was a strange time in our recent history.

The good times were still just about rolling, but the first ominous rumbles of the looming financial thunderstorm could be heard.

There was a similar situation at Portsmouth Football Club.

Under manager Harry …