From the publisher:
At last, it’s up the Dale. After a record 36 years in the basement division of the Football League, Rochdale AFC finally won promotion in the 2009/10
season. The underdog of English football had their day in the sun and with them at every kick was lifelong fan and acclaimed writer, Mark Hodkinson.
Devotees endured years of defeats and jibes and misery until the management team of Keith Hill and David Flitcroft built their promotion-winning squad. Hodkinson brings wry and penetrating insights into a momentous season, while pondering on family ties and loyalty, the passion and philosophy of football support.
Other matters football – from Hodkinson’s pieces first published in The Times - include interviews with Paul Gascoigne; Colin Bell and Mike Doyle of Manchester City; the irrepressible Stuart Hall; the late comic Bernard Manning; Barry Hines of Kes fame, plus a range of topics from cortisone use to racism in football, from sport finance to the perils of being a football reporter. And, of course, Subbuteo.
Mark Hodkinson is the author of Believe in the Sign (long-listed for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year), Blue Moon: Down Among the Dead Men with Manchester City and The Last Mad Surge of Youth (Q magazine's Novel of the Year). Mark has written for The Times for two decades, and has produced and presented documentaries for BBC Radio 4.