Whilst the book is principally about travelling around Murcia ,with the fans CAP Ciudad de Murcia, I mixed with the ultras and hinchas of Cadiz, Athletic Club, Seville and SD Eibar as well meeting many British and Irish fans who get their kicks from following the Spanish games not so glamourous clubs.
I went to over 50 matches in the 2013-14 and travelled to places as diverse as Bilbao, Gibraltar, Soria, Madrid and every nook and cranny of Murcia, searching for what makes the football sub-culture of Spain tick.
I also discovered some of the lesser known football pioneers that brought football to Murcia and Spain in general including the Spanish Geordie Manny Pelegin who brought football to Lorca in the 1890s.
This was written about the book by the editor of the Newcastle United fanzine the True Faith and it is a good description of what the book is about
Jarrow-lad Tony Higgins served his football fan apprenticeship, trainer-shod on the cold steps of the Gallowgate End in the 1980s, later travelling the length and breadth of the country, having his heart-broken on a weekly basis by English football’s perennial under-achiever, Newcastle United. Later, Tony would ride the Kevin Keegan rollercoaster and then travel across Europe and back as the Magpies came close but not close enough.
Then, older, wiser and far more cynical, Tony took himself and his young family to Murcia in Spain to run a series of businesses and whilst his Newcastle United itch still needs a scratch, he has immersed himself into Spanish life, not least its football. Being a contrary natured and belligerent sort, Tony has eschewed the bright lights of Barcelona and Madrid for the football scene in Spain that exists outside the global fascination with Lionel Messi and Ronaldo.
So, if Spanish society, history and politics through the microscope of its lower league and less celebrated football scene is your thing, this is for you. It might not be your thing now, but once you have read Tony’s tales, it will be, I promise.
You’ll read about ultras, fan owned clubs, the Spanish Civil War, Spain’s football politics and go on a journey around Tony’s adopted home with a lad totally fascinated by the new life he has discovered away from a football scene in England of which he now despairs.
Okay, he does mention Barcelona and Real Madrid. But only a bit.
The book is an eleven month journey of discovery that you can share in as you turn the pages.