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Review article

Hand, David (2001) Review article. Soccer and society, 1 (2). pp. 99-112. ISSN 1466-0970

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Abstract

Popular football writing’s importance to the sports book market continues to grow. Reference works apart, the most numerous categories of football writing are personality-oriented (mainly autobiographies), issue-oriented (dominated by ‘hooliganism’) and club-oriented. This article surveys recent trends in these areas focusing especially on club-oriented works. Three texts on Manchester City F.C. are reviewed. The discussion particularly concerns their coverage of City’s fan base, portrayed as humorous, loyal in adversity and with a strong sense of local identity. These attributes - summed up by the slogan ‘City ‘till I die!’ - are situated in the context of recent academic work demonstrating that they are typical of traditional English football fandom in general. Club-oriented writing is valuable, then, for the insight it provides into the nature of football perceived as a collective, community-based partisan passion.

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