Above Head Height: A Five-A-Side Life by James Brown
'The Fever Pitch of five-a-side' TONY PARSONS
A must-have for anyone who has ever played and enjoyed amateur football.
James Brown has been playing football since growing up in the backstreets of Leeds. The sudden death of one of his long-standing team mates made James ponder the unique bond between men who meet each other once a week for years, but don't know any personal details beyond pitch prowess.
Five-a-Side football is where you play the beautiful game for love, not money. You play it for life and you play it everywhere. Your kit is damp and your legs are a leopard's back of bruises. Shirts are often tight around the belly, with your hero's name plastered across your shoulder blades. The showers are too cold in winter and too hot in summer.
Your used sports bag stays unpacked in the hall, and your water bottles are under the kitchen sink. The post-match warm down takes place in the pub. As does the match analysis. By contrast the warm up is non-existent. Your performance is patchy and maybe not what it used to be. But we all still think we played great. Five-a-Side is sporting Karaoke - a time and place to live out our dreams.
This is a book for all of us - school mates, work colleagues, total strangers - bonded by the desire to blast one into the net from two feet away.