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All Played Out - Has anybody read this Italy 1990 World Cup Book?

Just doing some research for a feature film and wanted to know if anybody's read this book and if so, is it any good?

Comments

  • read it when it came out. Thought it was excellent at the time. A lot more interesting than most football books of that era as he had lots of inside access but also took a fans view on things.

    Still have it somewhere.

    What is the film and what sort of research are you doing?
  • I got it for christmas about 19 years ago, still have it somewhere. If I remember rightly it had gazza on the front. Great book, I may get it out and read it again. So what's the film about and how's this book involved supa me old namesake?
  • this thread is confusing ; - )
  • At the time, it was one of the best football books that had been written ... haven't read it for a while but I am sure I would still consider it up there.
  • The film is a documentary feature film going to be released just before this world cup - using only archive of the time and football rectonstruction to show how a nation can be brought together by football. From a bunch of award winning documentary makers - just wanted some feedback on the book, which on Amazon has 5* all the way etc.

    Question - 20 years on, and just before the World Cup - is it something you'd watch at the cinema/buy on DVD/watch on Sky Box Office etc just for old times sake and just some hope of us winning it this time around??..
  • [cite]Posted By: supaclive[/cite]The film is a documentary feature film going to be released just before this world cup - using only archive of the time and football rectonstruction to show how a nation can be brought together by football. From a bunch of award winning documentary makers - just wanted some feedback on the book, which on Amazon has 5* all the way etc.

    Question - 20 years on, and just before the World Cup - is it something you'd watch at the cinema/buy on DVD/watch on Sky Box Office etc just for old times sake and just some hope of us winning it this time around??..

    If it is as good as the book ... and that's a big question ... then, yes. But I am not convinced that they could capture the essence of the book on film.
  • Great book. If I remember rightly this was the football book that kicked off an era of decent football writing .... Fever pitch & the like.
  • Excellent read. Kevin Allen's world cup video diary also managed to capture a lot of the atmosphere surrounding the events of the matches involving England.
  • One of the best football books I've read, cracking book.
  • edited December 2009
    Someone needs to do a good retrospective documentary of that world cup. Not the usual Paul Ross and other rentaquote thing, but a proper, authored documentary. And time should be found for whoever it was who first came up with the idea to use Nessun Dorma as the theme song on the BBC's coverage, which (IMHO) demonstrated the respectability that football was about to earn for itself. Consider, that world cup was a year and a bit after Hillsborough, when being a football fan wasn't really part of polite society.

    Anyway, that world cup ended for England in Gazza'a Tears, which was a narrative that anyone could understand, even if they had no knowledge of or interest in football - tragic hero suffers ultimate sacrifice for good of comrades - a narrative almost operatic in scope.

    I'm not sure, but I think it was the first tournament where England fans went with the St George cross rather than the Union flag. Look back at England games in the 70s/80s and there's hardly a St George cross to be seen.

    You mentioned that the film could be about football bringing the nation together? I think that's a bit narrow. Possibly, it's the other way round, that the nation, sick of people regularly being killed in football grounds, sent a message to football to sort itself out. My memmory is that many of the games were rank; wasn't it the standard of football in Italy that started the series of law interpretations to protect creative players and, also, reduce timewasting (the backpass law specifically).

    Oh, and it is a very good book because it treats spectators and participants as having brains. I don't think it started a stream of great football books - in fact, it might have started the series of we-all-got-mobbed-up-by-the-chippy-and-met-their-top-boy nonsense that still seems to get published.

    Good luck with the project. But get some decent money behind it and get it authored by someone with a story to tell.
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  • I was there! ...... well, just the one match actually.
    Was travelling that summer 1990, and timed the trip to be in Italy for the World Cup.

    But what a match I picked:
    Quarter Final: England v Cameroon at the San Paulo, Napoli.

    It cost £8 for my ticket (in Italian Lire) ..... I've still got it somewhere.
    Just rolled up to the booking office at Napoli's ground in 90F hot sunshine the afternoon before the match - and bought it on the spot.

    But Napoli was a wild town, youths roaming streets. Saw a woman get her handbag snatched by a lad as he drove past on a Vespa scooter! So headed out to where loads of England supporters were based in nearby Sorrento, where I had the best pizza of my life from a little back street pizzaria takeaway.

    The match had quite a tense atmosphere ...... it was only 4 years after the Heysel incident, and rumour was high that the Italian fans wanted revenge. All us England supporters were behind one goal, but from the tier above we were being spat at and bombed with bottles from Italian fans above. The Italian police stood by and did nothing.

    The match itself was just like watching Charlton ...... totally in control, get the goal, go into cruise mode, miss chances by being too casual. 2nd half, suddenly under pressure, that old familiar sick feeling in your gut that only a matter of time before conceding an equaliser ......then bang, leading 1-0 turned into losing 1-2 within about 5 minutes.

    Then Gary Lineker with the penalty to equalise in the last minute. Extra time - and there was Gary Line Aker with the winner! And some charlton-esque scares as we hung on to win.

    In the dark straight after the match there were Italians roaming in gangs looking for trouble, but cadged a lift from another England fan who had his car parked in an unlit backstreet. We drove through the night to Rimini, seeing the sun rise over the Appenine mountains was a glorious sight.


    Missed the semi with West Germany .....cheapest ticket was £80. This was 1990, remember.

    So ended up trying to watch that match on a ferry to Greece. Each time the ship changed direction, we lost the TV picture ...... you can imagine the frustration during the penalty shootout, as it wasn't only Pearce and Waddle that missed penalties. We missed some of them too!

    It was a laughing Irishman listening on the radio that told us England were out ....!!!
  • Excellent book. It had a great bit about Scott Minto in it if I remember rightly.
  • edited December 2009
    I went to all the qualifying games in Calgari on Sardinia.

    Bumped into 2 Charlton apprentices out there who got bollocked for being on the piss and caught on camera whilst it was kicking off.....
  • It's one of my favourite books.
    I read it when it was 'new' and I take it off the bookshelf every few years.
    I appreciated at the time that the author credited the fans for being able to survive the tournament on very little income, without jobs, in a foreign land with most human rights being laughed at due to everyone being an "English hooligan" regardless of their behaviour.

    A cracking read and I'd recommend it to anyone.
  • edited January 2010
    I was there.
    Bought a car from local auction for £60. made it to Italy and back, then sold for £40.
    For those who had the pleasure of being penned in that derelict football stadium, it was the red Renault that was rammed against the entrance gates.
    Very fortunate to find myself alongside a scouser who could handle himself when a Italian ticket tout was peddling tickets for the semi final.
    Walking through the streets of Turin when a car load of juve turn up. Some Northern lunatic comes running from a hairdressers with half a haircut screaming "we run from no-one"
    Picked up a nutter with a St George's tee-shirt walking down the hard shoulder of a french motorway. Asked if he needed a lift, and why he was where he was. Aparently he had an argument with his brother and he left him.
    He stunk, the dirty bastard. He refused to wash in foreign countries.
    And i ended up running him all the way to london bridge station.
    Bloddy Waddle, his body language said it all prior to taking that penalty.
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