'Football matters, as poetry does to some people and alcohol does to others...Football is inherent in the people...There is more eccentricity in deliberately disregarding it than in devoting a life to it. The way we play the game, organise it and reward it reflects the kind of community we are' Written just two years after England's '66 triumph when the national game was at its zenith, Arthur Hopcraft's The Football Man is repeatedly quoted as the best book ever written about the sport. This definitive, magisterial study of football and society is a snapshot of a defining era in sporting history; changes and decisions were made in the sixties that would create the game we know today. For many who are disenchanted with the modern game - the grip of businesses and corporations, the dominance of advertising, the extortionate ticket prices and inaccessible matches, the fickleness of teenage millionaires - The Football Man takes the reader back to the heart and soul of the national game when pitches were muddy and the players were footballers not 'brands'. This is a long awaited reissue of the classic football 'bible'.
One of the most celebrated names of football writing, Arthur Hopcraft was witness to many of the highlights of the English game which he wrote about with unreserved passion and intelligence. A successful and highly revered writer and journalist, he was also the Guardian's feature writer and a prolific scriptwriter. Among his best-known works is his adaptation of John Le Carre's Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.