Savage Enthusiasm A History of Football Fans

Paul Brown

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From the publisher:

Savage Enthusiasm explores the complete history of watching football, from the very earliest days of the game, via golden ages and troubled times, through to the present day.

From the cover: “Being a football fan is both a privilege and a burden. When you’re winning, it’s the best thing on Earth, and when you’re not, it’s the end of the world. And the thing about being a football fan is, whichever way fortune swings, you’re stuck with the game and your team for life. We’ve come to accept the great hold football has on us. But how did this happen? How did we become so entirely wrapped up in the game? How did we become football fans?

Savage Enthusiasm traces the evolution of the football fan from the sport’s earliest origins right up to the present day, exploring how football became the world’s most popular spectator sport, and why it became the undisputed game of the people. The history of the football fan is also a social history, a political history, a history of the media, and a history of the game itself. Primarily, though, it’s a history of people going out to watch their teams, win or lose, then going back again and again. It’s a celebration of watching football, dedicated to anyone who has ever had their heart gladdened or saddened by the game.”

Reviews and features:

“An important addition to efforts that seek to put a history of football fans on a par with the well-written histories of players, owners and administrators to form a complete picture of a sport that is so dominant in our culture” – Sports books of the year – Irish Examiner

“A very decent, impeccably sourced, primer on what has happened to fans down the ages” – When Saturday Comes

“An excellent read, rich in anecdotes and explanation” – Game of the People

“Predictably excellent… a breezy run through the fan’s experience and at its heart the notion of football’s irresistibility – why did the sport become such a behemoth, beloved by millions?” – The Two Unfortunates

“A splendid new book by [an] always exemplary researcher” – Sports Journalists’ Association

“A shot in time shows what it means to be a fan” – Daily Mail

“The evolution of the football fan – and what it says about the game” – i News

“It’s often a frustrating existence, so why do so many of us become football fans?” – Newcastle Chronicle

“Savage Enthusiasm is littered with golden nuggets” – The Football Pink

“Being a football fan is both a privilege and a burden” – Derby Telegraph

“A welcome addition to the social history of football support” – Martin Cloake / Medium


Goal Post
14 x 22 cm
300 pages
September 2017