Carl Bromley, the editor who has brought books by Simon Kuper, Jonathan Wilson, Eduardo Galeano, Sid Lowe, and David Goldblatt to this country, speak with Howler editor George Quraishi about the best and worst soccer books of all time, what will be on Sir Alex Ferguson's syllabus at Harvard Business School, and the East German telephones cluttering his office.
Why do we play ball games? This is the question that John Fox explored in his book, The Ball, and in the forthcoming documentary film, Bounce. I spoke with him for DUMMY about what it is that almost all humans find so alluring about ball games. We also discussed the oldest continually played ball game on the planet and what he learned about soccer in his quest to understand games and the humans who play them.
In the year 2000, Luis Figo did the unthinkable: he transferred from Barcelona to Real Madrid. Later that year, he was named European Footballer of the Year. In 2001, he was named World Footballer of the Year. And in 2002, on a return trip to play against Barça, he found that the club's fans had turned the Camp Nou into what we'll politely call an extremely hostile working environment. It turned out to be one of the most memorable Clásicos in many years. Our correspondent bribed his way into the stadium that night and now, 12 years later, recounts the story to his fiancé over a bottle of wine.
A cautionary tale about what happens when you are seriously drugged out and yet forced to play goalkeeper for your professional soccer team.
(Note: George drops an F-bomb in the intro, so skip ahead three minutes if you’re listening with little ones—the rest of the episode is safe.)
One day in 1994, Steve Davies lived the dream of every soccer fan. He was plucked from the crowd by Harry Redknapp, the manager of his favorite team, and sent onto the field for West Ham United. We featured Steve in Howler issue 03, and now you can hear him tell his own story.
We're working on two longer episodes of Howler Radio, so in this short we're playing you two clips from those upcoming shows. In the first, the West Ham fan who was the subject of Jeff Maysh's wonderful story in issue three talks about heckling his way onto the field for his favorite team. In the second soundbite, Frankie Hejduk recalls the time he lined up against Luis Figo, then the current FIFA World Player of the Year, in the 2002 World Cup.