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I Am the Secret Footballer: Lifting the Lid on the Beautiful Game Paperback – Sep 10 2012

4 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Guardian Books (Sept. 10 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0852653085
  • ISBN-13: 978-0852653081
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2.3 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 259 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #326,815 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"This is better than any turgid football biography on the bookshelves and well worth seeking out" Sunday Business Post "A recklessly honest read that pairs huilty pleasure gossip with a moral compass, as TSF is force-fed a lifestyle that comes with being a Premier League footballer" Loaded "Not since the days of the great super-injuctions has the identity of an anonymous sports star cause as much speculation as that surrounding the mysterious author of the Guardian column, The Secret Footballer, which has been running in the paper for the last 18 months" Choice magazine "A hugely insightful and opinionated commentary on the modern game" Morning Star Online

About the Author

That would be telling.

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Most helpful customer reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ele Math on Feb. 10 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very interesting book for anyone to read who is interested in the beautiful game. Lots more going on than one would realise.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book needs no introduction if you're a fan of football. It's an easy read and makes for a great gift for everyone.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Incredible book. ....very authentic....and descriptive!
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By hockey 20 on March 25 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
tres satisfait
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 75 reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
I am the secret footballer Jan. 31 2013
By Peter M. Olsen - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Unfortunately, like many others, I enjoy the "inside" stories of sport and especially football (soccer). However, by remaining "The Secret Footballer" there was little of interest for me to relate to. Just broad statements and criticisms but no names, no clubs, no truth, and nothing interesting! If you're going to do an "expose", make it a real expose - not just hints, clues and general B/S. If you haven't got the guts to name names - why bother! Easy money? In fact I felt I was being generous by giving this book 2 Stars.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Not as sharp as The Guardian articles April 23 2013
By Walter Spoonbill - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
When the Secret Footballer was writing for the Guardian, he was my favourite weekend read - always topical, often personal, going behind the back page headlines to tell the story behind the story. My expectations of the book were high, perhaps unfairly so, but I felt disappointed at the end of it. The longer format & lack of topicality blunts the edge & the book is tamer than expected. A few high jinks here & there - & a chapter by his anonymous agent justifying his existence - did not take me far behind the facade. Ok for an airplane read - & quickly forgotten.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Surprised and happy this is avalable in the U.S. already Aug. 24 2012
By Gareth Beale - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is due out next month in the UK and I was hoping it would be available on kindle in the UK so I could get it quickly. I was surprised and pleased to find this available already in the U.S. I have read the column for the past year on the Guardian website and enjoyed it very much. Only into the first couple of chapters so far, but a great and absorbing read. I'll post again when I have finished the book. A must-read for any fan of the English Premier League.

See more details on and the guardian newspaper,

Finished the book and it was consistently good throughout. I'd advise not skipping the chapter on agents as a another reviewer did. It gave another perspective, and given some of the stories and questions about the recent transfer window (ending August 31 2012), it gives some possible insights as to why certain players did or didn't get bought or sold or went to clubs we didn't expect.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Nothing controversial here April 5 2014
By Bjorn Clasen - Published on
Format: Paperback
The Secret Footballer (allegedly the sympathetic and insightful Dave Kitson whom I had actually never heard about before - but then again, I don't follow English football to such detail), reveals life off, and a little bit on, the pitch for a professional footballer in one of the planet's best and certainly the planet's most marketed league.

The further I read, the more bored I got. For there is nothing controversial about anything that The Secret Footballer reveals. And 'reveals' is far too strong a word ...anyone who can get the least surprised about anything s/he learns from this book is either extremely naïve or knows nothing of football.

Therefore: I really don't see what the big deal is. Of course professional football runs like The Secret Footballer describes it. It is not even very creatively or entertainingly written. Not that it has to be, but that could at least have kept me intrigued till the end.

The most entertaining (or sad?) moment does come towards the end though: His story about a student girl he met in South Korea makes for a good little story or joke. But that's more or less it. The rest is a collection of unsurprising everyday tales from behind the scenes. Which may be secret but are honestly not very interesting, even to a football fan.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
More about craziness of PL life than football March 31 2013
By Egil Ellingsen - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In well written and easy-to-read manner, the secret footballer gives us a glimpse into the craziness of being a Premier League player - a world that is probably further away from everyday life than many of us imagine. From crazy parties and trips to Dubai, to tactics regarding money and contracts, and as an underlying theme all the way: how a young man struggles to cope with all the craziness and remane sane. However, theres not much football talk here, so don't expect to learn much about the game on the pitch - its primarily about life outside.

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