Set in the last decades of the 20th Century and mingling real-life footballers with fictional characters, this is a thoughtful, entertaining debut novel by one of our finest sports writers, in which the beautiful game becomes a moving metaphor for the vicissitudes of human experience.
With spare, sharp prose and knowing insights, Hamilton has written a heartwarming as well as heartbreaking winner.
An immersive character study of people damaged by sport and its temptations of glory, how some overcome, and how others are crushed by it.
'What I enjoy most about this beautifully written and tender account of the relationship between a nervous young provincial reporter and a football genius is the sense of genuine proximity to its subject, so that Clough's obvious flaws seem forgivable and even beguiling, rather than cruel and unbearable. Wonderful book' Russel Brand, Guardian on Provided You Don't Kiss Me
'One of the best football books I've ever read.' John Motson on Provided You Don't Kiss Me
Hamilton...expresses the passion that millions like him, in pursuit of happiness and belonging, feel for the beautiful game. Simply magnificent
A marriage of prose and detail so fine and fastidious that it takes the breath away
A convincing behind the scenes re-enactment of English football... Hamilton has a perceptively humane understanding of men for whom football was never just a game
A fictional look at action, on and off the pitch, past and present, that will leave you smiling