Scott Knowles reviews Simon Hood’s book, Bicycle Kicks, for Under The League. Read the rest of this entry
Guest writer Scott Knowles returns to write for Under The League with a review of Joseph Lloyd Carr’s 1975 novel. Read the rest of this entry
On New Year’s Day 2012, I had the great pleasure of meeting the author of this book, Ashley, in the torrential rain while taking in Staines Town v Hampton & Richmond Borough. He told me all about his FA Cup groundhop, and how he hoped to go all the way to the final. When I found out he had been commissioned to write a book, I immediately downloaded and read it.
If you follow Ashley’s groundhopping blog, you’ll already be familiar with his style of writing, which draws you in and makes you keep reading. If you haven’t read any of Ashley’s excellent accounts of his travails, you should bookmark his site and get over there! So, what about the book? Well, firstly, it is only £1.50 of your hard earned, so is not going to empty your pocket, let alone break the bank. It can be downloaded from the usual outlets (links at the bottom of the review), and is well worth the small outlay.
When he started this journey, he had no idea where it would take him, or if he would even manage to fulfil the stringent criteria he set out for himself (all is explained in the book). What this leads to is a wonderful narrative as he risks homestead harmony at times to continue his, let’s face it, absolutely barmy adventure. I won’t give anything away in terms of whether or not Ashley completed his target of taking in a match and a replay from every round of the 2011-12 FA Cup, but one thing is abundantly clear; he enjoyed the early rounds far more than the later games. I have long been of the opinion that football loses a lot of it’s personality the higher up you go, and this comes across in Ashley’s writing. His match of the tournament only goes to emphasise this fact.
I really cannot recommend this book highly enough. If you are looking for a proper fans’ tale, then this is the book for you. I should point out that Ashley did not embark on this adventure for the purposes of the book; quite the opposite in fact. He was already doing it before the opportunity to publish a book came along. So, spend that little £1.50 and help reimburse some of Ashley’s expenses!
I am already looking forward to reading about his next escapade!
Download The Long Way from the links below. I’d like to point out that I do not get any reward for you buying via these links, I am just trying to make it easier for you to get the book.