The Nowhere Men
Winner of The Times British Sports Book Award 2014.
A fascinating insight into the enclosed world of football scouts in the UK
A teenaged boy plays football in a suburban park. His name is Raheem Sterling. The call is made: “Get down here quick. This is something special”.
Another boy is 8, going on 28. His name is Jack Wilshere. The referee, an Arsenal scout, spirits him away from Luton Town.
A young goalkeeper struggles on loan at Cheltenham Town in League Two. His name is Jack Butland. Within months he will be playing for England.
Welcome to football’s hidden tribe. Scouts are everywhere yet nowhere, faceless and nameless, despite making the informed decisions worth millions. Award-winning sportswriter Michael Calvin opens up their hidden world, examining their disconnected lifestyles, petty betrayals and unconsidered professionalism of men who spend long, lonely hours on the road.
There's a strong contender for the William Hill Sports Book Prize in Michael Calvin's The Nowhere Men, a book revealing the hidden lives of football scouts. * The Bookseller * A magnificent book, full of extraordinary characters and beautifully told -- Rob Bagchi * Guardian * One of the '50 Best Sports Books Ever Written In The Nowhere Men, Mike Calvin somehow manages to make the job of football scout sound like the most romantic existence imaginable. It also sounds bleak and deeply lonely. It is a fascinating insight into an often misunderstood and under-represented part of the sport, revealing the hours, dedication and struggles of men who love football and don't know what they'd do without it. * Daily Telegraph * 'Calvin's book is excellent, a highly readable insight into the slog and grind of assessing talent.' * Tottenham On My Mind * Michael Calvin charts the evolution of the sports' scouts from chaotic beginnings to Moneyball-inspired analysis, and is enough to make you pay close attention when you next pass a kids' kickabout in the park * Shortlist *
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