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Nominated for “Best New Writer” at the British Sports Book Awards 2010
The “football supporter’s story of a season” genre has been well mined: man follows ups and downs of his team, man visits every League ground with a fridge on his head, and so on. But Spencer Austin has found a new angle. Having despaired of his beloved Spurs (this is the 2008-09 season) he gives away his season ticket and decides to support a team (Grimsby) picked out of a hat, living in the area and going to all their games until they are beaten, at which point he will switch allegiance to their victors until they in turn lose. Austin’s adjective-rich style takes a bit of getting used to, as does his inventive spelling, but his evident empathy with the fans he meets along the way is infectious, and encounters with the likes of Stan Bowles, the ex-safecracker and former owner of Darlington George Reynolds, and the Swebees, Brentford’s Swedish fan club, add to the narrative. [A] beer-soaked, curry-stained odyssey.
By Simon Refern.