Harry Reid's book is an examination of these various guises, a trawl through more than 40 years of Scottish fanhood. He writes with a mixture of wry sentiment and clear-sighted candour about the club he loves, Aberdeen FC, about the Old Firm, about the national team, about the Scottish sporting Press, about Scottish footballers so extravagantly talented that they were hardly real, but also about dogged, decent journeymen who deserve to be remembered too. In his quest to reach the centre of Scotland's footballing soul, Harry Reid interviewed a wide range of people, from household names to obscure fans, from famous coaches to wise outsiders, from no-hopers to geniuses - and yes, even the odd player too. The past is analysed, its many lessons examined, the present is clinically surveyed and the years to come are optimistically imagined - to Reid's own surprise he finds that there are grounds for hope for the future; meaningful revival is not impossible. But there needs to be a radical change in the game's structure, change that will be painful and extraordinarily difficult to push through.
The Final Whistle is a celebration of one of the most quintessential and crucial components of Scottish culture: at once messy, glorious, complex, infuriating, beautiful, squalid and infinitely important. Scottish football is all of these things - and much more besides.
Buy The Final Whistle book by Harry Reid from Australia's Online Independent Bookstore, Boomerang Books.
Publisher: Birlinn General
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