Seven Dials has signed The beautiful poetry of football commentary from Athletic Football journalist Charlie Eccleshare, “a glorious anthology of iconic lines laid out as poetry celebrating the finest commentators to ever grace a mic”.
Shyam Kumar, Editor-in-Chief, acquired the worldwide rights directly from Eccleshare, which, in addition to his coverage of Tottenham Hotspur, is responsible for the Athletic is also the co-host of The Football Cliches podcast, which takes a satirical look at the language of football.
The book, described by Kumar as “the ideal stocking stuffer for all football fans”, will be published on 1st JanuarySt Sep 2022.
The editor’s summary reads: “Whether it’s the brevity of Barry Davies, the boundless enthusiasm of Clive Tyldesley, or the sheer eloquence of Peter Drury’s monologues, the canon of football commentary is full of memorable lines that have some of the great classic speakers nodding along would recognition.
“Curated by football journalist Charlie Eccleshare, The beautiful poetry of football commentary is a glorious anthology of iconic lines laid out as poetry, celebrating the finest commentators to ever grace a microphone. Each poem is accompanied by a ‘scientific’ analysis that captures the enduring power of language at beautiful play.”
Kumar said football and poetry are often seen as opposite ends of the cultural spectrum, but for many people John Motson is more quotable than John Keats.
“This book celebrates the, dare I say, underrated commentator with scholarly/tongue-in-cheek analysis of classic football commentary by the likes of David Coleman, Martin Tyler, Peter Drury and many others,” he explained. “Given his pedigree, for deconstructing the language of football down to the hilarious football clichés Podcast Charlie Eccleshare is the perfect writer for this book and with the Winter World Cup coming up this is the ideal stocking filler for any football fan.”
Eccleshare added: “Ever since I was obsessed with football as a seven-year-old, I have been fascinated by the commentary surrounding it. It really amazes me how much of my vocabulary as a young child was shaped by hearing the often quite archaic language they used. But I’m probably not the only one influenced in any way by football commentators who seem to have a disproportionate impact on so many fans. This is a tribute to their greatness and an attempt to reveal the ingenious, often classic way they describe the sport’s most dramatic moments.”