Every city has a stadium and every stadium has a story. In Sightlines author and self-confessed stadium addict Simon Inglis has pursued his obsession to bring us the weird and wonderful worlds of usherettes at the Houston Astrodome, competing architects in Australia, angry neighbours in Auckland and wistful groundsmen in Bombay. Watching live sport as a regular spectator is all very well, reckons Inglis. But stadiums are far more interesting because in a stadium, whether it be a cathedral of sport or a collection of sheds in the back end of town, you can tune in to the mood of a nation or a community. Starting out at Olympia, where it all began, and ending up in Sydney, venue for the 2000 Games, along the way Inglis encounters anarchic bacchanalia in Pamplona's bull-ring, meets priests at a Gaelic Football final in Dublin and Palestinian refugees living within a few metres of a British-built stadium in Beirut. And in an attempt to come to terms with his obsession he tries aversion therapy by visiting 26 Argentinian football grounds in one week, in the company of a football mad psychotherapist. It doesn't work. He has a great time.
The perfect companion volume to his popular books on football grounds. Sightlines is full of insight, wit, anecdotes and characters from a world beyond the view of the ordinary spectator. Read it and you'll never look at a stadium the same way again
Born in Birmingham, writer and broadcaster Simon Inglis penned his first comments on stadiums at the age of six. Among various football and stadium-related works he is best known for the acclaimed Football Grounds of Europe (1990) and the bestselling Football Grounds of Britain (1996). When not watching Aston Villa, he lives with his wife and two cats in London, coincidentally - he insists - halfway between Wembley Stadium and Lord's cricket ground.