Blog Tour – January 2022 – Football, She Wrote – Various

Another football book…this is getting to be a habit for crimeworm, isn’t it?

Well, it’s something which I absorb by osmosis as it’s on in our house rather a lot, thanks to Mr. C, and he also talks about it a lot too. So it seemed only polite, when we first got together, to develop an interest in the game too (after all, he’s force-fed books and everything about them a lot of the time!) We both enjoyed Troy Deeney ‘s autobiography so much that when the offer to review this book – an anthology of journalism pieces on the female game – I was delighted to participate.

But do you actually watch women’s football? Or is it only the men’s game that’s on in your house?

That’s one thing I noticed when I first met Mr. C – he loves women’s football just as much as men’s, and is fond of saying that the women are every bit as skilful as the men, with goals and skills that are every bit as jaw-dropping and admirable. He saw his first live women’s football match in Glasgow in 1976, when he was six, and has followed it ever since. He’s as likely to be found watching a woman’s game as a man’s game, and we both adored the last Women’s World Cup, and watching the awesome Megan Rapinoe run amok for the USA. (He also has a bit of a crush on Alex Scott, so is delighted she now presents the unmissable Football Focus!)

But let’s get to the book – is it a good read?

It’s an absolutely awesome read – a collection of superb journalism on all aspects of the women’s game, and it’s history and development over the years, that I think anyone with even the slightest interest in sport in general could enjoy. It’s a fantastic mix from both players, ex-players, journalists, with exceptionally high quality writing throughout.

The one thing that strikes you throughout the book is how hard women have fought to be taken seriously in the game, whether it be as a player, a journalist, or a broadcaster. Whichever field it was in, she was in for an uphill struggle. It’s only now, when women are being paid to play, and write about, the game, that we can appreciate what trailblazers those who went before them were, who did it just for the love of it.

So to sum up your final thoughts…

I’ve always been of the opinion that, if journalism is really good, the writer can get you interested in any subject. I was lucky enough to get the option to read a book on a subject I already had a strong interest in. But I’d urge anyone to pick this book up, whether it be in the library, or the bookshop, or by downloading an eBook sample. I suspect a few pages will have you hooked – perhaps to your surprise!

Very highly recommended!

With thanks to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for inviting me to participate in this blog tour, and for Floodlit Dreams for my copy of the book.

Follow the rest of the blog tour!

BLURB: From the doyenne of football writing Julie Welch’s brilliantly illuminating story of the first women’s international match after a 50-year ban to the madcap tale of two black radio rookies in China… From the trials of covering the soap opera that is Newcastle United to the glamour of establishing Real Madrid TV… From the making of the magnificent Emma Hayes to the equally amazing Mums United FC… FOOTBALL, SHE WROTE is a first: a unique collection of 20 women’s voices on the game they love. Penned by a group of experienced and new writers, and embracing memoirs, profiles, interviews and talking points taking in sexuality, diversity and inclusion, it is an anthology to make you think and feel, laugh and cry.

“A brilliantly entertaining collection showcasing a wealth of women’s voices,” ALEX SCOTT MBE

Contributors: Kehinde Adeogun, Isabelle Barker, Kate Battersby, Alison Bender, Jade Craddock, Hayley Davinson, Molly Hudson, Tracy Light, Renuka Odedra, Fadumo Olow, Katie Mishner, Christina Philippou, Jane Purdon, Ali Rampling, Louise Taylor, Julie Welch, Julia West, Cassie Whittell, Katie Whyatt and Suzanne Wrack.

FOREWORD BY GABBY LOGAN MBE

Edited by Charlotte Atyeo

Curated by Ian Ridley

Blog Tour – November 2021 – Redemption – Troy Deeney

So, crimeworm reviewing a footballer’s memoir – this is new territory!

It is! I’m a bit of a football fan (Glasgow Celtic FC) but I live with a really obsessive one, and it was with his encouragement I chose to read this. (I suspect he also plans to read it himself now I’ve finished it!)

Full disclosure – I hadn’t heard of Troy Deeney when the Blog Tour invitation popped into my inbox, but when I asked Mr Crimeworm who he was, he immediately replied, “Course! Played for Watford, mainly. Very good player…great striker. Think he had a few demons, remember some scrapes being in the papers. But he’s a pundit now, so must be doing better…comes across as a nice guy. Like him as a pundit, actually. And he’s big in the Black Lives Matter movement.”

And I suspect that’s what the average football fan would say about Troy. But what does Troy have to say about himself in his book?

Well, he doesn’t sugar the pill – he takes full responsibility for all his actions, as the title of the book suggests, and that theme runs through all areas of his life. He grew up with a brother and a sister in the biggest council estate in Europe, with a mum who worked three jobs and held the family together. She comes across as a real heroine, as she’s frequently heading a one parent family, Troy’s father being “on holiday” – common code for dads in jail. She was a victim of domestic violence, but Troy never once saw her cry.

But Troy found success in football – that was his ticket away from all the bad things…

He did – he’s played in all four leagues, and in the top years of his career was English Premier League Watford’s captain and one of the country’s highest scoring striker, with the massive wage that goes with that.

So he had everything he’d ever wanted – what went wrong…?

Well, you’ll have to read the book for the full details of his fall from grace, but, unbelievably, he ended up in the same place his father spent so many years – prison.

The book details his rebuilding of his life and reputation, and I admired the way he takes ownership of everything that went wrong. He’s had a lot of therapy – that’s clear from the beginning of the book, and it’s been hugely helpful with dealing with his own children and not repeating the problems of the past.

Is it a good read, though?

Definitely, and not just for football fans. His personality and voice is clear. And it’s a likeable voice, a knowledgeable one – he has, unbelievably, become the sort of guy you might go to for advice! His involvement in the Black Lives Matter movement is really inspiring, too.

A guy you’d like to go for a coffee with, then.

100%. But no doubt Mr Crimeworm would have to gatecrash and talk football all day long!

Highly recommended.

My thanks to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for inviting me on this blog tour, and Octopus Books for the ARC. My review is unbiased.

Troy Deeney
Check out the rest of the Blog Tour!

BLURB: Troy Deeney is best known as Watford FC’s former captain and a thorn in Arsenal’s side. But behind the successful and gritty football persona is a remarkable story of resilience.

In this brutally honest and inspirational memoir, Troy shares what it was like to grow up on Europe’s largest council estate, where his mum worked three jobs and his father, a notorious drug dealer, was frequently in and out of prison.

He shares stories of self-sabotage, from simply not turning up to Aston Villa’s football trials as a teenager, playing while drunk to being imprisoned for affray at the height of his career.

But Troy never gave up, even when it meant playing professional football with an ankle tag. He went on to score 20+ goals in three successive seasons and became the Club Captain, an FA Cup finalist, promotion winner and Watford’s record scorer. He also became an outspoken player advocate and – in an age of bland footballer interviews – is a sought after voice on football and footballers today.

Engaging, endearing and insightful, this book is where Troy comes to terms with his turbulent past.