My Story

The seeds of the idea for The People’s Football History series were sown during Derby County’s calamitous Premier League campaign in 2007/8. I had been keeping a journal during the season and by the time the season had finished, The Rams had broken several records (most pre-fixed by “worst” or “least”), whilst also having no end of off-field shenanigans. An interesting season by any standards.

I pieced my work together and approached a few publishers, mainly small publishing companies who had a track record in football books. None of them were in the slightest bit interested. It wasn’t a judgement on my work – no one had requested to see a word of it – but the replies were all based around the same themes: no commercial appeal; difficult to market.

I was pleased with what I’d written and friends and family convinced me that what I’d written was good. I started to look into self-publishing and began a long process of research, with the odd wild goose chase along the way. Eventually, I arranged a small print-run of 100 books and found that within a month I needed a reprint!

Around the same time, I was reading a Hull City book (From Boothferry To Wembley by Gary Clarke) another book written by a fan. The book had a publisher but it occurred to me that the book would never have existed without Hull City’s promotion to the Premier League. The promotion was the least interesting bit amongst a tale of boardroom squabbles, rubbish signings and financial meltdown. In short, the kind of things all clubs go through.

The thought occurred to me – there must be hundreds of similar stories through all levels of football which will never see the light of day.

By this time, the book I had christened Bad Worse Worst was selling steadily despite some Rams fans refusing to even look at it (!) and with no advertising or marketing. My sole objective from the outset was not to lose money and I soon achieved that.

Since then, I have followed up Bad Worse Worst with Who’s Pereplotkins? The story of Derby County’s 2008/9 season. Once again, the book was hugely enjoyable to write and sold steadily. Publishing the second time around was a hundred times more straightforward and it occurred to me that I could help others through the process, now that I’ve been through the pain barrier and made several mistakes you won’t have to repeat.

Bad Worse Worst is now due for its fourth print and I have re-formatted it for a new edition. This will be number one in the series of The People’s Football History Series.

Thousands of football clubs exist in Britain alone, all with a unique story to tell. The People’s Football History Series could be the opportunity for some of those stories to see the light of day.