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The Football Tourist

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The Football Tourist

7.99 10.99
sale

Stuart Fuller has spent the best part of the last decade watching football around the world, he is the Football Tourist, this is his story.

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Stuart Fuller has spent the best part of the last decade watching football around the world, he is the Football Tourist, this is his story.

By Stuart Fuller

Stuart Fuller has spent the best part of the last decade watching football around the world. As the author of 'Passport to Football' he wrote the original guide to watching the game abroad and this is his follow up, 'The Football Tourist'. Each chapter details a trip taken, beginning with a lost weekend at the Spakenburg derby in 2010 and ending in Dundee in late 2012. Taking in trips all over the footballing world, every story serves to both entertain and inform those who might wish to dip their toe in the football tourism pool. In a world where a trip to a Premier League game might cost a family the best part of GBP500, the Football Tourist urges you to try something new...

'This book will appeal to all true football fans, the author leads us and his band of colleagues, friends and family on a journey around world football, looking forward to volume 2!' - No Agenda

Author Bio

Stuart Fuller is the author of 'The Budget Airlines Football Guide', 'A Fan's Guide: European Football Grounds', 'Passport to Football' and 'Dripping Yarns: A season with Lewes FC'. He is also the founder of theballisround.co.uk, a contributor to various blogs and websites and a keen football photographer.

Extract

As a seasoned football watcher I have seen some of the biggest games in the world in my time. I've seen AC Milan annihilate Inter 6-o in the San Siro. I've seen Brondby fans set fire to Parken, home of FC Copenhagen whilst losing the "New Firm” derby. Back home in England I've seen more police than fans at a West Ham versus Millwall game. Even takng all that into account and many more experiences I won't bore you with (yet), when Danny suggested we come to watch the Spakenburg derby I have to say I looked at him as blankly as I do when the Current Mrs. Fuller utters the words "a cracking craft fair".

But then he showed me some pictures he'd been sent from a local journalist in the lowlands of Holland. Of course pigs painted in the team colours. Of course a twenty-foot inflatable Viking. Of course an airplane drop of hundreds of toilet brushes over the away fans.

Welcome to SV Spakenburg versus IJsselmeervogels, or to give it a more appropriate name - the spell-check derby.

Few people have ever heard of the game outside of the Netherlands, let alone the actual place. This meant we went as pioneers for European football tourists everywhere, brave warriors looking to reign with a bag full of memories that would tempt others to follow in our trail-blazing footsteps. It wasn't hard forming an advance party to journey into the unknown and legendary world football sightseer Michael 'Stoffers' Stofl was the fast name on the list. So famous is Stoffers now in his home city of Berlin that there are plans to create his very own action doll for Christmas complete with interchangeable silk scarves of various obscure football teams to put around its wrist.

Next on the list was Shep, without a shadow of a doubt the single most pessimistic football fan in the world. Shep lives in a small village not far from Nailsworth in Gloucestershire, which of course is famous for being the home of an incredibly steep hill at the top of which can be found the New Lawn, home of Forest Green Rovers. Shep is disillusioned with Rovers thanks to a new owner who has banned meat from the match day menu. To him that is tantamount to banning beer from pubs. "It's just not right Stuart, men need meat at football, it's in our DNA, it's part of who we are," he told me on the flight over. Several times. However this weekend he is accompanied by his brother who is, of course, also called Shep, is much happier with his lot in life and keeps the mood up throughout.

There would be other characters that would drift in and out of our weekend's entertainment but it was the five of us (me, Danny, Stoffers, Shep and Shep) who met at an ungodly hour on the concourse of Amsterdam's Schiphol airport. Our destination was the tiny little town of Breukelen, about 30 minutes south of Amsterdam. There we were to be picked up by Pat, another man who spent far too much time travelling around the world to watch football than was healthy. Pat would then drive us to Bunsehoten, home of the two teams, and it would be time for the fun to start.