Back of the Net!

Two David Beckhams and FA Cup Bookmark

Good evening, fellow Bookworms!

There’s no Euro 2016 matches now until Saturday, and to say that I am sick to death of hearing about the bloody referendum would be an understatement, so here begins the avoidance strategy by writing a book blog, lol! I have a postal ballot, thus I voted a few weeks ago, and it feels even longer ago than that, and I’m even bored about hearing from those who feel the same way I do, so don’t even start me on the far-right eejits… let’s forget about the whole thing and vote to read some books instead! Or, at least read my utter waffle on the subject of books, lol!

Footy has provided the solution to my recovery from A Little Life – the book in the above photo, There’s Only Two David Beckhams, by John O’Farrell, is just what I needed after that epic! Footy-themed, satirical and VERY funny, it even gets a dig in at a certain rival team’s player on the second page…

The bookmark next to the book is my latest item of finished cross-stitch, my FA Cup Winning Years bookmark, with all 12 years United have won the longest-running football tournament in this country – the FA Cup was up and running for some time before the league championship started up! The first-ever Double Winners were Preston North End in 1888-89, as they were the inaugural Football League Champions and won the FA Cup that same season. Mine of useless information, aren’t I?!

Anyway, United have won it 12 times, which is a joint record with Arsenal. Funnily enough, both ourselves and the Gooners have done the Double 3 times each, the third of our Doubles being two parts of our Treble in 1998-99, along with our legendary stoppage-time victory over Bayern Munich in the European Cup Final at the Nou Camp, which is given considerable mention by Pierluigi Collina in his autobiography, The Rules of the Game.

Indeed, it’s thanks to United that he got to ref that match, as Italian teams bossed European footy in the 90s and most of the previous finals in that decade had at least one Italian club in them, so he couldn’t officiate. It was also looking pretty unlikely for him in 1999 at the semi-final stage when Juventus had the away goal advantage over us from the first leg at Old Trafford, and, 11 minutes into the second leg, they were 2-0 up! However, Keano inspired our fightback, and we came from behind to win 3-2 on the night, 4-3 on aggregate, and book our place in Barcelona, thus enabling an Italian referee to take charge of the final…

Back to the bookmark, the first of those victories in my lifetime was in 1977, when I was 4. I’ve not done too badly with the FA Cup, have I? My team have won it 12 times, and 9 of them have been in my lifetime! Plus, I’ve been to 5 of those victories – 1994, 1996, 1999 at the old Wembley, 2004 at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, and then last month at the new Wembley, where we won 2-1 in extra time against Crystal Palace. Have to say, Palace played very well and made us do it the hard way. (That is normal for United, though – we don’t make things easy for ourselves, never have done, lol!) The Eagles will join us in the Europa League for being our runners-up at Wembley, as we were already qualified for that tournament due to our 5th place finish in the league, so they did get some reward for making it to a cup final only to lose to us for the 2nd time in their history.

Some years ago now, back in 1997, I designed and stitched my club’s honours list, although it would need much updating if I did it these days, it would have to be much bigger! That’s where the FA Cup on the bookmark comes from, I worked out a cross-stitched FA Cup when I was doing that honours list. I also worked out a Premier League trophy, League Cup, European Cup and the old European Cup-Winners’ Cup. We have yet to win the UEFA Cup, now known as the Europa League, so if we won that, I’d have to try to work that one out in cross-stitch.

1966 Sir Bobby Charlton book

Anyway, back to books and footy… As today is my mum’s birthday and she has opened her pressies, I can now put this book on here, as this is one of the things I bought her. I also bought her a large spiral-bound A-Z of Manchester, as she’d requested, but I saw this during one of my countless visits to Waterstone’s, and thus I thought I would buy this for her as a surprise – 1966 My World Cup Story, by Sir Bobby Charlton. A signed copy, too!

Obviously, most books I mention on here are my own, but I might occasionally mention one or two others which I have bought as pressies for family or friends. You won’t get to hear about those on here until after their respective birthdays, or after Christmas if it’s that time of year, but they may still get a mention. Kids’ books might be getting a mention or two in late July or early August, after our Charlotte turns 6, and we may well return to the subject of baby books later in the year, as my sister is expecting and the baby is due in October. It’s a boy this time, so I will have a niece and a nephew. Back to The Very Hungry Caterpillar again, ladies and gentlemen!

I haven’t forgotten the S book, but I will come back to that matter some other time. This has been a football special, so to speak! Sometimes my blogs have themes, even if most of my blogs are exceedingly random and wander off at tangents without warning! Then again, some books actually wander off at tangents – I’ve read one or two books like that in my time, The Good Soldier Svejk, by Jaroslav Hasek, being a particularly good example! Actually, it is said that Hasek’s unfinished novel was the inspiration behind Joseph Heller’s Catch 22, and there are certainly comparisons to be made between the two novels regarding the sense of humour of those serving during major conflicts, whether that’s Svejk in World War I, or Yossarian in World War II.

Just checking one of my List Challenges lists. It’s the one I’m going to publish early next year for people to see how many books they’ve read from all the books I’ve mentioned in this blog over the course of 2016! Over all the blog entries I’ve posted so far this year, a whopping 313 different books have already been mentioned so far! Thing is, I am getting to the stage where I write a book blog but I’ve already mentioned those books before in a previous blog, so don’t worry unduly about the list doubling in size by Christmas! Famous last words, I know, but I doubt we’ll be on 626 come the new year! I might have got up to about 400 different books, possibly, but who knows?! Then again, those long lists are the sort I really like on List Challenges! I think the minimum number of entries to make any list is 10, but those really short lists are hardly worth bothering with. I love the really long ones with over 100 books, some of them over 1000 books! I love checking off books I’ve read or at least half-read, and also love getting recommendations from other readers that way! This list of mine is going to be a long one, probably something for every bookworm on the list of all books I’ve mentioned on here since we let in 2016!

Anyway, I’m going to get this finished and published, and I shall return again soon with another blog. Until then, take care and Happy Reading!

Joanne x x x

Books mentioned in this blog entry:

  • A Little Life – Hanya Yanagihara
  • There’s Only Two David Beckhams – John O’Farrell
  • The Rules of the Game – Pierluigi Collina
  • 1966: My World Cup Story – Sir Bobby Charlton
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar – Eric Carle
  • S – J. J. Abrams & Doug Dorst
  • The Good Soldier Svejk – Jaroslav Hasek
  • Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
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Filed under Autobiography/Biography, Books, Cross-Stitch, Football, List Challenges

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