Everything about Pat Nevin went against the grain. In a dull and predictable world of the Austin Allegro he was the red Ford Mustang with the white stripe in Starsky & Hutch. It's what made me joyous and proud that he played for my team. The self-penned and perfectly titled Accidental Footballer radiates a simple fact: that the exceptional magic of Pat Nevin the footballer matches the unconventional personality. The two are in fact one and the same. Unusually vibrant and elegant with heroic doses of humour, insight and self-effacement, this is an absolute must-read for the football connoisseur.
I grew up captivated by Pat Nevin the player. As a man he taught me even more about the beauty of the game. One of football's great mavericks, and Chelsea's greatest players. And he can spin a mean tune too.
I used to walk miles to see Pat Nevin play football and I'd do the same now to read his thoughts. Always challenging, always entertaining.
Pat was the biggest influence on my early professional career both on and off the pitch. He helped give me confidence to know I could be myself and "still" succeed even if I didn't quite fit in. An accidental mentor, maybe. A great player, an even better person, definitely.
The Accidental Footballer is as good as you'd expect from one of the most thoughtful voices on football (and music and politics) of the past 35 years. There are insights, revelations, strong opinions, honesty and humour, so it will definitely be up for awards. And, as you'd also expect, all the chapter titles are songs from Pat Nevin's favourite bands.
The Accidental Footballer, so modest and self-effacing, so decently socialist, evokes the national game in a period of transition, to which he himself contributed with style and with soul.
He is able to express what he thought and how he felt as his life and career progressed with clarity, candour and humour, offering an inside view of the game while somehow retaining an outsider's perspective.