* One man's struggle to do an Alex Ferguson: a touching and hilariously observed account of a father's attempts to manage his son's football team
On Sunday mornings Jim White has the following choice: visit the supermarket, buy trellising at B'n'Q, or stand on the sidelines of a muddy municipal football pitch, his trouser cuffs wetter than a weekend in Llandudno, shoulder-to-shoulder with a motley crew of mums, dads, step-parents and same-sex life partners all screaming at their beleaguered offspring. You'll find Jim in the same place every week, failing to organise a bunch of lads into something resembling a team while on the far side of the park his opposite number, a wannabe Mourinho in brashly monogrammed tracksuit, struts the sidelines, shouting - always shouting.
This is the hilarious story of Jim White's time as manager of his son's football team: the highs, the lows, and the dog turd in the centre circle. At this level, winning spirit is not so much about passion, pride and belief as praying that your star centre forward has remembered his boots. Most importantly, it's about the enduring relationship between fathers, sons and football. This is the story no one who has ever watched his or her child play sport will want to miss.
The Fever Pitch of the junior league - SUNDAY TIMES
It's a fizzingly funny, sad, thoughtful book, and should win White a hatful of awards. He done well, the lad, as they say - SUNDAY TELEGRAPH
Touching, involving and really quite enthralling... White proves that you can win everything with kids - DAILY TELEGRAPH
White's loving book evokes all the obsessional doubts and hopes involved in running an Under -14 side... A pleasure to read - INDEPENDENT
Jim White writes on sport for the DAILY TELEGRAPH, presents Scottish Television's Champions' League coverage and is movie critic of WORD magazine.
Jim White was brought up in Manchester, educated at Manchester Grammar School and on the terraces of Old Trafford. After a degree in English at Bristol University, he became a freelance magazine writer specialising in pop music, before joining the launch team at the INDEPENDENT in 1986. Ten years later he decamped to the GUARDIAN, before taking a right turn to the TELEGRAPH in 2003. He has worked extensively for both BBC Radio 4 and Radio 5 (winning a Sony Gold Award in 2001) and for BBC television (including a stint as reporter on BBC2's Travel Show) and has written and presented a number of television documentaries, including an RTS-nominated examination of the Jose Mourinho 'phenomenon'. He has also published several books about football issues, including the award-winning ARE YOU WATCHING, LIVERPOOL?, the inside story of Manchester United's 1993-94 season.