We are excited to announce Ringwood’s next event for 2016. Scottish Football: Fact, Fiction and Faction will be an enjoyable evening of rational discussion and friendly argument, where we’ll sink our collective teeth into all aspects of Scottish football, and its complex relationship with Scottish culture and society. Initial short talks by three Ringwood authors (Alex Gordon, …
On a Saturday afternoon in central Scotland, both Davie Thomson and Stuart Robertson have scored goals for their respective football clubs: Cowden United FC and Glasgow Athletic. Once team-mates in the Athletic title-winning side of 2001, their subsequent fortunes could not have been more different. Whilst Robertson had gone from strength to strength, winning titles and the love of the Scottish public, Thomson had slipped out of the team and down the leagues with alcohol and a weight problem contributing to his fall.
Whilst scanning the results, James Donnelly, reporter for the Daily Standard, connected the two and remembered the tragic events which would forever link them and their team-mates from that ill-fated side. Setting out to write an article on the murder of a man, Donnelly finds himself uncovering the story of the mistreatment of a woman.
A Man’s Game is a contemporary crime novel which brilliantly explores issues of violence, addiction, and misogyny, both in “the beautiful game” and in wider Scottish society.
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Title: A Man’s Game
Author: Alan Ness
Alex Gordon, after almost half-a-century in the Scottish newspaper industry as a Sports Sub-Editor and Editor, spills the beans in a frank and candid manner. Much is revealed within the pages of this book that was previously kept out of the public domain. And you’ll see why!
Jinx Dogs Burns Now Flu is a rollicking, often hilarious, trip through the crazy world of Scottish newspapers. It’s a journey that takes the reader behind the headlines of the biggest, most sensational stories of our national press. It also introduces the fascinating if madcap characters whose job was to bring you your daily news. Prepare to be bewildered by their antics as they chase front and back page exclusives. You’ll be amazed and amused by the tales that did NOT make it into print. Until now, as Jinx Dogs Burns Now Flu brings many sensational stories into print for the first time!
Other stories here throw an entirely new light on what actually happened around many of Scotland’s most famous sports stars; stories that will cause quite a few reputations to be reassessed.
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Title: Jinx Dogs Burns Now Flu
Author: Alex Gordon
“Scotball is the eagerly awaited follow-up to the author’s critically acclaimed debut novel “Paradise Road”. Scotball is a searing examination of the current state of Scottish football and the various social, political and economic forces that combine to strangle its integrity and potential.It will have a wide appeal being of interest to everyone concerned about Scottish football and its relationship to Scottish society.”
Peter Fitzpatrick returns home to Kirkintilloch with his Czech wife after five years in Prague. Resuming his previous career in banking and financial service, he feels unfulfilled. His application to host a television programme discussing the hot topics relating to Scottish football eventually finds favour. ‘The Scottish Football Debate’, or ‘Scotball’ is born.
The show is an instant hit; it tackles the problems relating to the game in a forthright and intelligent manner. It wins praise for being uncluttered by the customary agendas and petty grievances which usually distort and disfigure these types of shows. The programme runs successfully for two full seasons, debating and discussing such previously taboo subjects as sectarianism, declining standards in Scottish football and the pejorative influence of finances and a too powerful media on the game, when the biggest story in the history of Scottish sport begins to unfold, namely the financial liquidation of Rangers.
Gradually the free reign that the show was permitted for open discussion begins to be checked, and due to hidden conflicts of interest, the editorial license of the programme makers is slowly eroded. The story concludes with Peter’s dramatic reaction to this establishment response to his programme.
Author: Stephen O’Donnell
Paradise Road is the story of Kevin McGarry a young man from the West of Scotland, who as a youngster was one of the most talented footballers of his generation in Scotland. Through a combination of injury and disillusionment, Kevin is forced to abandon any thoughts of playing the game he loves, professionally. Instead he settles for following his favourite team, Glasgow Celtic, as a spectator, while at the same time resignedly and with a characteristically wry Scottish sense of humour, trying to eke out a living as a joiner.
It is a story of hopes and dreams, idealism and disillusionment, of growth in the face of adversity and disappointment. Paradise Road examines some of the major themes affecting football today, such as the power and role of the media, standards in the Scottish game and the sectarianism which pervades not only football in Glasgow but also the wider community. More than simply a novel about football or football fandom, the book offers a portrait of the character and experiences of a section of the Irish Catholic community of the West of Scotland, and considers the role of young working-class men in our modern, post-industrial society.
The road Kevin travels towards self discovery, fulfilment and maturity leads him to Prague, enabling a more detached view of the Scotland that formed him and the Europe that beckons him.
In the words of an initial review:
Written in a thoughtful, provocative yet engaging style, Paradise Road is a book that will enthral, challenge and reward in equal measure. It will be a powerful addition to the growing debate on some of the key issues facing contemporary Scotland”
Paradise Road can be purchased on this website for £5.00 excluding p&p, or ordered by post or e-mail for the same price.
The e-book version is available for £7.20 from Amazon.co.uk
Title: Paradise Road
Author:: Stephen O’Donnell
Rivals for 90 minutes, Friends for Always
The book explains how an invasion of Vila-real by 10,000 Celtic supporters in 2004 created a set of circumstances that has led to a lasting friendship between supporters of Villarreal and Celtic. This friendship is unique in world football and offers the wider football world a model of camaraderie and togetherness that shows how football can be a force for good.
Celtic supporters everywhere can take pride in the story of how their example of camaraderie and good behaviour in 2004 inspired the formation of the Villarreal Celtic Submari.
The Submari has proved to be an extraordinary example of the way in which decent people can help others through football and friendship.
The remarkable friendship between Celtic Supporters and Villarreal supporters has continued to grow, and inspire, many years on.
Lessons for Scotland
Celtic Submari also explores why the subsequent visit of Glasgow Rangers to Villarreal did not result in a similar outburst of mutual friendship but saw instead Rangers fined for the poor behaviour of some of their supporters.
This book investigates the cultural differences between Celtic and Rangers supporters which explain their different behaviours abroad.
It offers an enhanced understanding of some of the elements of the sectarian sourness that so scars Scottish football. It puts forward radical solutions drawing on the Villarreal Submari model.
It shows why both Celtic and Rangers supporters need to learn from the model practiced by the Villarreal Submari if Scottish football is to eradicate its sectarian sickness.
Title: Celtic Submari
Price: £6.99 (of which £2 will go to the Celtic Submari Charity Fund)
It is exceptional value, offering Two Stories for the Price of One
Book 1: The Miracle of Villarreal CF
The explanation of how a wee club from a small town of 50,000 inhabitants became a major force not just in Spain but in Europe, including becoming Semi-Finalists in the Champions League, the UEFA Cup and the Europa League, and Runners Up in La Liga. The amazing success of Villarreal offers supporters of clubs both large and small throughout Europe a model of how they too might live the dream, without having to rely on Russian or American billionaires or Arab dynasties.
It is also a story of amazing community involvement in a football club, with the number of season tickets holders representing over 40% of the population, a figure unprecedented in world football. Villarreal have by far the highest percentage of female season ticket holders, some 30%, of any major club. The Villarreal youth section has 7,000 members. In the Villarreal crowds, adult males are a minority.
Story One reveals the component parts of this miracle transformation of a club used to life in the lower leagues. “Yellow Submarine” explores how this on field success and equally remarkable high degree of community involvement has been created, and offers its Ten Secret Ingredients as a model for other clubs throughout Europe, both big and small, to emulate.
Book 2: Inside Account of a three year voyage on the Yellow Submarine as they set sail in search of further European glory in the Champions League, Europa League and La Liga, encountering teams like Manchester United and Arsenal, Celtic, Barcelona and Real Madrid, and Porto on the way.
Story Two follows the Yellow Submarine through three seasons from 2008-2011 as they compete in both the Champions League and the Europa League, while striving to maintain the success in La Liga that will allow the European adventures to continue until the ultimate dream comes true and Villarreal win the Champions League.
It explores how the miracle ingredients identified in Book 1 are applied in practice and examines the Catch 64 question that threatens the continuation of the dream.
Title: Yellow Submarine – The Miracle of Villarreal CF
The Great Escape? is that rarity, an intelligent readable novel about football and families. It is the story of Derek Duncan, a Celtic supporter from birth, who became a Scottish international football player, and his attempt to make himself an immortal football manager. He intends to do with a struggling provincial English club Griston City, something similar to what Matt Busby and Bill Shankly his spiritual predecessors, did with Manchester United and Liverpool, and turn a moderate club into a modern giant, able to challenge for top honours not only in England but in Europe.
The book deals with his first season, when he takes over a Griston team rooted to the bottom of the table and determines to save them if humanly possible from the relegation to which they seemed doomed prior to his appointment.
It is about the stresses faced by a manager of a team on the edge and the effect of these pressures in his life and loves. It also explores the impact of these events on the other people involved in the world of football, the players, the Chairman and his daughter, the Board members and most of all, the supporters that hold the club dear.
As well as an examination of the world of professional football, The Great Escape? is also a modern love story about the growing relationship between a lonely manager and a lovely young woman who understands his situation.
The Great Escape? also demonstrates how an obsession with football can distort father- daughter relationships and it is essential reading for those affected by this phenomenon, directly or indirectly.
Original Response to The Great Escape?
Described in the Herald review as “at last an intelligent and readable novel about football and life” and “strong in narrative”. Other reviews called it “the best novel about football I have ever read” and “the ideal present for football fans of all ages and both sexes”.
Title: THE GREAT ESCAPE?