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Balls: Tales From Football’s Nether Regions
By Paul Brown
Hardcover, Mainstream 2004, ISBN 9781840189308
Paperback, Mainstream 2005, ISBN 9781845960637
Out of print
A collection of amazing, bizarre and hilarious stories from the mad, bad and stupid world of football.
‘Football has been given compendiums of curiosities before, but surely none so comprehensive as this… Every page teems with anecdotes.’ – FourFourTwo
‘The best of the bunch.’ – Sports Books of the Year, The Independent
From the cover:
Balls is an eclectic collection of amazing true stories from the world of football, revealing the bizarre and hilarious reality behind the beautiful game. Favouring left-field over legend, the book celebrates colour-blind referees, colourful commentators, dodgy kits, dodgier haircuts, footballers called ‘Primrose’, players with prosthetic body parts, dangerous goal celebrations, suicidal own goals, pathetic penalty misses, God-fearing goalkeepers, gun-toting fans, shocking scandals, horrendous tragedies, bung-taking managers, UFO-spotting chairmen, and loopy matches involving animals, robots and Nazis.
Recalling the antics of wayward geniuses like Paul Gascoigne, Diego Maradona and George Best, the book profiles football’s most colourful and craziest characters. Who is the former top-flight footballer now living as a fully post-op transsexual? What possessed a World Cup superstar to kidnap 120 Cameroonian pygmies? Which ex-goalkeeper genuinely believes he is the Son of God? Why was a former Southampton fullback offered the throne of Albania? And whatever happened to Maradona’s fake rubber penis?
Humorous and irreverent, the book collects hundreds of stories together into chapters on sex, drugs, violence, rock’n’roll and more. Balls is an unashamed celebration of the mad, bad and stupid aspects of football – the greatest game in the world.