Football Mad

Martin Amis

  • The Soccer Tribe by Desmond Morris
    Cape, 320 pp, £12.50, September 1981, ISBN 0 224 01935 X

Readers of the London Review of Books who like football probably like football so much that, having begun the present article, they will be obliged to finish it. This suits me down to the ground. Intellectual football-lovers are a beleaguered crew, despised by intellectuals and football-lovers alike, who regard our addiction as affected, pseudo-proletarian, even faintly homosexual. We have adapted to this; we keep ourselves to ourselves – oh, how we have to cringe and hide! If I still have your attention, then I assume you must be one of us, pining for social acceptance and for enlightened discussion of the noble game. This puts me in the happy position of not really caring what I write. You will read me anyway. Ho-hum. If I could render a whistle on the page (a strolling, nonchalant whistle, hands in pockets, head held high), then that is what I would render … But let’s talk football for a while.

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