Regular readers might remember I posted a few times in 2012 about my book and its imminent publication. It took a little longer than I expected, but it will be coming out later this summer from Bennion Kearny. You can read about it here. It'll be available in both print and electronic editions. Please buy five copies in case you lose four. For now, here's a small excerpt.
The first twenty minutes felt like one extended car crash. We couldn’t clear our lines, couldn’t keep track of blistering, overlapping runs and mean, angled passes. In front of me, Ajit, Chopper, and Robert Heilmann were working miracles, lunging to tackle or block shots, but they kept coming in waves. We lost track of a player at the far post and he looped a header back across the face of goal. Great, I thought. It’s going to drop in over my head. The crowd noise swelled and crested like waves crashing on a beach. But my feet, powered by the nerves and adrenalin, chopped at the grass and got me back to my line. I leapt and turned it over the bar with my right hand, before tumbling into the net. The crowd applauded. We cleared the corner, but a few minutes later came another header from almost the same spot, this one nodded firmly to my right, the near post. Again the crowd thought they’d scored. I twisted high, got both hands behind it, and held it. I couldn’t help doing something silly then – I turned and showed the crowd the ball and laughed, then kicked it as far up the pitch as I could. The nerves, the crowd, the moment had turned me into one of the silly showman-type keepers I have always disdained. Perhaps I had been too quick to judge. Put me in front of a real crowd, and it turns out that I’m a ham.