Title: Fever Pitch
Author: Nick Hornby
Genre: Non-fiction, Sports
Publisher: Penguin, p238
Fever pitch was an autobiographical account of an obsessive Arsenal fan whose happiness, sadness and everything depend on Arsenal’s success or failure.
Most of us, Indian football fans, started watching English football from around 1996. That is the time when ESPN start telecasting one or two matches per weekend. That too most of them were United and Liverpool games. This would explain why India has lot of fans from these two clubs.
For the guys like me, who started around 2003/04 season, Arsenal was all. The invincible team on a great football ground (First renovated Highbury, then world class Emirates) with great players likes of Henry, Bergkamp, Vieira. We don’t know the past. The period when the dying on the football ground due to hooliganism, wall collapse and lot more reasons.
This book explains a lot about that period which most of us do not know. We always habituated to imagine foreign stadiums are like this from start. No issues of spectator safety and comfort would have ever risen. If you are the person who always complains about quality of Indian stadiums, please read this book. In a country like UK, the stadiums should need more than 100 years to get improved; our stadiums are new and are in the process of improving. It will happen in time, so stop complaining.
The best thing about this book was that this was written in the view of a fan. I could relate to lot of things like planning the outings and parties so that it would not affect him watching the matches, grumbling about the match whenever the team through away the lead and losing, we all do , don’t we?
The main part of the book is the 17 year trophy deficit until they won the league cup on 1987. The irony is now we are in the deficit of 6 years. So I could understand his feelings when he explains the joy he felt when the team won the league.
Also when Hornby explains his feelings after the team lost to Swindon in the cup final, I could relate it with the loss we suffered in the league cup final this year to the relegated Birmingham.
Fever pitch, another great non-fiction book I have read this year. If you are a football fan and following English Football for quite some time, this is a good read irrespective of whichever club you are. This book gives us lot of information that we would not possibly known from the period starting 1968 till 1991. If you are a Gunner’s fan, ‘Man, come on this is a book by one of us’.
No prizes for guessing my rating★★★★★