Top 5 football books to read

Football is an incredibly popular sport and it is no surprise that it creeps into other aspects of life. Entertainment from the sport is not just set for Saturday at 3pm but for any time with football films incredibly popular, people using betting sites like or even books.

Football can crossover into both fiction and non-fiction genre due to the nature of football. In this top five list there will be both fiction and non-fiction books that might tempt you into exploring more about the sport, understanding the sport or wanting to enjoy the sport further due to your love for the game.

So, who makes the list?

  1. Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby

This is an incredibly popular book in the footballing world and was even adapted into a film starring Colin Firth. It was so popular that Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore starred in an American adaptation that shifted the premise of football to baseball.

The book has no real plot but instead is a memoir of Hornby’s experiences supporting Arsenal throughout a time when it was possibly difficult to support the club. It expresses his love for the game and his love for the club growing up supporting the club culminating in the amazing Arsenal league victory against Liverpool.

It also talks about how he attended Cambridge United and Cambridge F.C games during his time at University.

  1. Damned United by David Peace

Another book that was so popular that a film was created starring Micheal Sheen, Jim Broadbent, Timothy Spall and many other fantastic British actors. However, the book talks about the short and doomed spell that befell Brian Clough who had enjoyed success with Derby County.

Clough went into a tight and successful Leeds United side who Clough had been critical of the way they played. 44 days is how long Clough lasted at Leeds before he was sacked.

The book is fiction based on fact according to the author but still a great read.

  1. How Football (Nearly) Came Home: Adventures in Putin’s World Cup by Barney Ronay

The Guardian sports journalist documented his time during one of England’s best-ever tournament showings. With issues surrounding the choosing of Russia as the host nation for the 2018 World Cup, Ronay decided to write a diary about his time in the country and all the different places he visited.

It shows the optimism, the realism and true experiences of watching England at a tournament but also being a journalist with access and understanding into the journalistic world such as games going to extra time, press access and hotel stays.

  1. Football Against The Enemy by Simon Kuper

A real book that is for football fans and none football fans. Kuper immersed himself in football and travelled across the world to find out how people felt when it came to rivalries in football. Exploring ideas of a political persuasion and cultural differences between nations, Kuper starts off in Europe and works his way around the world.

A truly mesmerising read which mixes politics, history and sport.

  1. The Boy on the Shed by Paul Ferris

Written by former footballer Paul Ferris, another memoir-based book as it explores Ferris’ experiences of being the youngest Newcastle player ever. He was the youngest ever debutant when he appeared aged just 16 years and 294 days.

It focuses on Ferris’ experiences in the game but it also starts before his Newcastle days and shows how much of a tough upbringing he had in Belfast growing up in Catholic family.

A riveting read filled with love, humour and fate.

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