In August 2009, I received an unexpected email.

The sender explained that they had begun a project which aimed to capture the spirit, humour and knowledge of the terraces and had been speaking to key fans, clubs, forums and fanzines, asking them to contribute some of their thoughts and memories relating to their clubs and players.

Perhaps at first I felt daunted by the task, but quickly realised that I had an opportunity to share this news with the readers of this Barnsley FC Blog and listeners of the Podcast.

I can't say that what followed next was a huge deluge of response, but on behalf of this site, I would like to mention Mick Lewis @ The Full House, Barnsley and (resident Statto) Geoff Wray for their contributions to the book.

Like any project of this nature, I simply heard nothing again for months. Then slam, just two weeks ago, this slab of supporter knowledge arrived through the letter box at last.

Naturally, I'm very proud of the contribution we have been able to make, but the finished book is also a genuine treasure trove of information for any football supporter.

For those of you who have held an ambition to visit all of the 92 clubs of the English Football League, but are limited by budget or stamina, the good news is that Around The Grounds, by Chris Nelson goes some way to providing you with a part of that experience.

Apart from all of the essential information, each team is broken down from a fans perspective even more. There are sections on rivals, fanzines, forums, web-sites, resources and much, much more, plus some handy information on convenient drinking holes for away supporters too.

But what really makes Around The Grounds unique is that the contributors have been given a chance to wax lyrical about their club in a natural way. Gone are any spurious claims by marketeers or poorly informed pundits. The result forms a fantastic fans' perspective, packed with trivia, anecdotes and real opinion.

It may even be the first book that has dared to go in to the territory of naming the "Zeroes of the Turf" (the players who simply didn't cut it) and the "Villians" too. There are plenty who are named and shamed inside.

Whether your an armchair supporter or diehard fan, Chris Nelson has crafted a real gem that you could easily use as a reference guide. In my opinion, Around The Grounds has plenty more to offer.

For your chance to win a FREE copy of this book, simply > sign up here to receive daily updates from this blog. One subscriver will be selected from random and the winner will be announced here on 31st October 2010.

Readers of this blog can purchase their copy with a huge 25% discount

Order online via or directly on the book page.
To claim the discount, enter “footie” in the coupon code box at checkout.
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Ian Wilkinson

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