Sweet Turf, Sunday Mornings: The Beautiful Game and Black Country Roots

Sweet Turf, Sunday Mornings: The Beautiful Game and Black Country Roots

by Mark Higgitt


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One man in search of his Black Country roots stumbles on a sometimes brilliant, sometimes useless, mostly engaging Sunday football team and hitches a ride through the streets and playing fields of his dying father's childhood.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780993300301
Publisher: Many Heroes Publishing
Publication date: 10/18/2015
Pages: 212
Product dimensions: 7.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.55(d)

About the Author

I stumbled in to writing books.
For reasons revealed in the final pages of Through Fire and Water, it happened after a Sunday night phone call in the mid-1990s.
I was intent on tip-toeing through a conversation to see if one HMS Ardent survivor had the time, inclination and memories to help me write a Remembrance Week feature that would tell readers of the Worcester Evening News the story of a recent war. One fought by young men who walked the same streets as us, rather than one whose telling depended on what our fathers and grandfathers could remember.
The gaps in my contact's knowledge weren't glaring ones, to my eyes, but he was insistent that they should be closed. So I made one more call. And then another. And then another.
Five years and around 100 interviews later, I had the story of Ardent and her ship's company and their families, as well as a firm appreciation of why those gaps needed closing.
In short, for most of them, the years following the sinking of their ship on Friday, May 21, 1982, the day of the Task Force's landing, were one long gap.
Five years, I suppose, might seem a long time to travel among them, gleaning and reconciling versions of events -- until you put yourself in their shoes. Then it's no time at all.
A chance remark at HMS Drake, after an Ardent remembrance service one May, set me off on the trail of another Falklands War story, a tale of sacrifice, a family left in purgatory over what really happened to their 17-year-old son, this time a Para, in battle, just two days before the war ended.
The missing pieces, this time, have taken more than 10 years to find. It was finally published in 2015, to coincide with the 33rd anniversary of his death.
And there's another tale, about another thing that's close to my heart. Football. Sunday football, to be exact. On a battle-ground of another kind. The wind-swept turf of the Black Country.
The common theme? What grips me are the voices of ordinary men and women, doing things we all do, living lives we all recognise - and occasionally being dragged by events into the kind of places we'd all fear to tread.

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