Passion in the Northern League!

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Title > Far from the Massive Crowds

Published > 2011

Author > Mark Cowan

185 Pages/ Paperback.

I rate this book – 4/5

Rating 5- Classic, one of my fav books of all time, to be read more than once.
Rating 4- Great read, entertaining and compelling throughout.
Rating 3- Good read, not quite a ‘can’t put down’ but good none the less.
Rating 2- A little dull, hard to get through, couldn’t recommend.
Rating 1- Awful, couldn’t finish it, lost interest.

I’ve just finished this book which I read over the recent holiday period. The book is basically a diary of Mark’s season (2010/11) following his local team Guisborough Town home and away in the Northern League 2nd division.

It’s an extremely good read and very well written, with plenty of witty observations to enliven the text. This book will appeal to groundhopper’s, fans of grass-roots football or just those who enjoy watching their football in the Northern league.

Mark brings to life the destinations he visits by giving  some historical information or a description to each town and venue, and strikes a good balance between match reviews and observations of the terrace ‘characters’ he encounters on his travels. Anyone who has spent any time hopping will instantly recognise the types of people he describes, and the richness of the ‘banter’ at this level of football.

At the same time Mark makes some very valid points about the full-time professional game in 2011 in comparison to the lower level of the non league game, and as the season progresses you can’t help but will his team onto the success he so clearly looks forward to.

I’ve read quite a number of these sporting travelogues, specifically of the non league football variety, and this one is up there with the best, it’s very enjoyable, and I now look forward to visiting many of the venues he has described.

Although I would take him to task to referring to a Palace fan who he met at Scotch corner having a ‘cockney accent’ as I’ve not yet met a Palace fan from the East end of London!


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