Twenty Years Of Fever Pitch

Ian

Ian began writing Twohundredpercent in May 2006. He lives in Brighton. He has also written for, amongst others, Pitch Invasion, FC Business Magazine, The Score, When Saturday Comes, Stand Against Modern Football and The Football Supporter. Ian was the first winner of the Socrates Award For Not Being Dead Yet at the 2010 NOPA awards for football bloggers.

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4 Responses

  1. Dave Boyle says:

    Great piece, but I’d argue that the fanzine movement is as much a child of the world of football as it was music; Foul! began in 1973, before Sniffing Glue started; the small print runs and overlaps between music and football mean that it’s unlikely to ever be proven which came first, but I think an equally strong case can be made that football started it.

    The core of Foul! – and laters fanzine and the new literary culture – seems to me to be rooted in the post-Robins Report expansion of university education, combined with the ‘cultural studies’ approach which recognised the value of activities and practices previously deemed low brow.

    In other words, by the early 1970s, there’s a lot of working class people who’ve gotten to university. Their 1944 Education Act forebears went to the grammar school, then University and acquired the habits of the middle-class (including deeming football not a suitable subject for a clever person to speak of), but this generation were fired by more democratic impulses, and were encouraged by a view in sociological and critical circles that culture was what people did, not whatever the high-bourgoeisie deemed it to be. In that sense Hornby is a crossover figure, not a pathfinder, evidence of a change that had happened rather than creator of it.

    The gentrification began in organised fashion after the Henley forecasting centre report in 1991 for the FA which noted that there was anew appetite for leisure amongst the Thatcherite boom beneficiaries and football was failing to attract it, and that it needed to price itself as more of a luxury than it was doing; this would appeal to these newly-affluent customers, and drive out the people who were progenitors of the culture of violence that acted as a inhibitor. When people started to compare football with opera prices in the late 90s, it was with a shrug and a raised eyebrow, as if this were evidence of a game losing its way. Quite the opposite – the game was going exactly where it had decided to go.

  1. March 5, 2012

    [...] “It may seem odd to look at upon the anniversary of the release of a book, but Fever Pitch is no ordinary book. This year sees the twentieth anniversary of a book that launched its own sub-genre – the football confessional continues to thrive to this day – and has been held responsible for both a sea-change in attitudes towards football supporters and for the gentrification of the game in a general sense, and it is worth taking a moment to pause and consider the impact of a book that went some way towards redefining football writing in Britain.” twohundredpercent [...]

  2. March 6, 2012

    [...] how things work. So don’t blame Nick Hornby and Fever Pitch for the way football is today. // twohundredpercent, with a followup at The Footy [...]

  3. March 6, 2012

    [...] to twohundredpercent for the anniversary [...]

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