Featured in The Scotsman’s Sport Books of 2020
A collection of lyrical sweet-nothings whispered to late goals, local radio commentators, referees falling over and 47 other reminders of why we love football.
Despite its flaws and excesses, modern football is still sprinkled with simple yet beguiling delights. In his previous book Saturday, 3pm, Daniel Gray captured many of them. Now he is back with a further 50 short essays of prose poetry dedicated to the game’s charming, technicolour minutiae.
From club lottos to undeserved wins, and from pitch-invading animals to the roar after a minute’s silence, Extra Time is another romantic celebration of football fandom and its shared joys, habits, eccentricities and peculiarities. It is a salute to keepers going forward for corners, match balls landing on stand roofs and goals scored in quick succession.
These chapters offer a gleeful antidote to disillusionment with modern football, VAR and all. They are reminders of why we care and justifications for our devotion. Each warmly evokes this sport’s blessed capacity to offer escape and diversion. Let us share the delight once more.
Gray writes like Lowry paints. Superb * BBC Radio *
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