Far From the Massive Crowds
By Rob Nichols
Saturday 03 Sep 2011 11:56:00
Browse all GENERAL INTEREST articles

I had to plug this delightful book and thoroughly enjoyable read and urge you all to go out and fill up this international void by reading a local classic. Mark Cowan shares his celebration of Guisborough's promotion winning season in Northern League Division Two.


Far From the Massive Crowds

Mark Cowan



Mark speaks to us as a true fan and one with a large smattering of wit and humanity two things Northern Leaguers have and need in abundance. He talks us through the Northern League journeying on the road, through the characters on and off the pitch. We partake in pitch side pies, pints, club house pints and slurp back the tea to keep at bay the coldest winter anyone can remember since the last one.


This is a tale of devotion, where you can get so close to your team that you can intercept the instructions spinning forth from the dug out. But obviously there is a happy ending that makes all the sacrifice well worth while in the end.  Not that Mark or the many devotees of football's grass roots would talk of it as sacrifice. Following their team is what they do. It is sometimes as simple as that.


The author comes from a school background and therefore is well qualified to fill in gaps in our knowledge about the various towns and former pit villages that make up Guisborough opponents. There is much anecdote and probably the odd football tall tale but you certainly emerge from this campaign travelogue with an overwhelming feeling of respect for the people of the north east that are the heart and soul of the second oldest football league in the world.


As someone that has to make do with just one or two games a year to satisfy my Northern League fix, I can absolutely fill my boots or books from the pages of this chronicle. To be honest this is a real joy from start to finish and I would heartily recommend it to anyone at all be they non league, big league or no league. This is what following football should be all about, something done with passion, devotion and a wining sense of humour. I can think of no better tribute to Guisborough's triumph than this excellent account.

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