Rumour has it that Christmas is next week.
Here are five last-minute presents for football nuts:
By Lutz Pfannenstiel
You may have heard of Lutz Pfannenstiel. He’s the only professional footballer to have played on all six continents.
He kidnapped a penguin.
He spent 101 days in a Singapore jail after being wrongly convicted for match fixing.
He single-handedly caught a notorious New Zealand burglar.
He died three times on the pitch playing for Bradford Park Avenue.
He had a pet monkey. He’s an expert on African football. He played for the German national youth team.
And much, much more. It’s an extraordinary book.
by Tim Marshall
Ever wondered why the theme from Z-Cars is played at Goodison Park?
Why do Birmingham City fans sing “Keep right on to the end of the road”?
And why on earth do Liverpool fans sing a song from an American musical before each match?
Tim Marshall looks at the origins of famous football songs, fan culture, and our bowerbird tendencies when it comes to appropriating songs as football anthems.
Singing and chanting is part of football’s fabric, and has been since the very early days of football in England. Marshall takes us on a musical journey through the history of Britain’s football chants.
Christmas shopping, it’s such a bore. You know you’re going to end up buying a DVD of Frozen for some pre-teen in the extended family, that awful-looking Fault In Our Stars movie (that makes you want to puke) for some morose teenager and Trainspotting just because it’s out on effin’ BluRay now for a mate from school who’s having a mid-life crisis. Choose life – ha! Choose an easy present that doesn’t involve complicated wrapping.
Oh well. Back to the suggestions.
Tired of these fancy-dan footballs that dip and swerve and don’t get waterlogged?
Well, this ball claims to be “traditional looking”. Who can argue with that, eh?
It features a butyl rubber bladder and according to the website, “is ready to last for the next generation of soccer player.”
The ball features a synthetic leather cover, if that makes sense, as well as “traditional panel graphics with silver accents”.
The ball is the official size and weight and will buy you street cred.
Oh who are you kidding? If you could get tickets you’d go yourself instead of giving them away.
Ah, a few days in Berlin, seeking out the seedy sectors of the city, smoking goodness-knows-what in public parks, getting a tattoo of Liza Minelli on your left buttock… that’s what everyone does in Berlin, right?
Well, forget about Berlin and the Olympiastadion. You’ll be watching on television, but you could give someone this amazing replica UEFA Champions League trophy!
It’s, um, 3.5″ tall. Under 9cm. Easily transportable.
You’ll be everyone’s favourite uncle with this gift!
Well it had to be, didn’t it?
Give a gift subscription to yourself, someone you love or even someone you admire.
Coming up in 2015, stories from Europe, England (which is in theory part of Europe), North America, and Australia.
Brilliant writing, stunning photos wrapped up in a beautifully-designed magazine.
Printed on high-grade environmentally-friendly paper.
Well, here are some other suggestions:
- FAN: a novel by Danny Rhodes.
- Taking our ball back by Martin Cloake.
- Bobby Moore: the man in full by Matt Dickinson
- Love Thy Soccer by Sean Reid.
- Got, Not Got: The A-Z of lost football culture, treasures and pleasures by Derek Hammond and Gary Silke