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The Accidental Footballer By Pat Nevin

Release date: 12th October, 2021
Publisher: Monoray

List Price: 18.99
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Where once the brilliant David Pleat stood head and shoulders above his contemporaries ? he was the only radio pundit capable of analysing a football match for listeners rather than telling them the winger had just crossed the ball and the centre forward had nodded it home ? it?s fair to say that the calibre of Pat Nevin?s live radio analysis is comparable to that of the former Luton and Spurs manager.

Granted, ex-Norwich and Celtic front man Chris Sutton quickly found his radio commentary feet and now relishes the role of being deliberately provocative, while Clinton Morrison?s enthusiasm can brighten the dullest fixture, but there are few pundits on the BBC Radio Five Live rota to compare with Nevin.

The Glaswegian?s accent has barely mellowed, yet Nevin?s intelligent insight into professional football is so good, you can forgive the verbal encroachment of the occasional Scottishism. At least that?s what I think they are.

Nevin enjoyed a 20-year career in professional football. Initially, he trained with Celtic but was considered too small and was released, to join Clyde, where he stayed as he completed an arts degree at Glasgow?s Caledonian university.

Following the 1982 European under-18 Championship, won by Scotland with Nevin voted the player of the tournament, his football career took a positive turn. Chelsea, then in the old Second Division, signed him for ?95,000 and paid him ?180 a week; ?100 of that went on rent.

The ?wee Scot? enjoyed London, although not for its seedy nightclubs. Instead, Nevin revelled in the opportunity to visit art galleries, independent music gigs and to immerse himself in the capital?s surfeit of cultural attractions. He became a regular in the New Musical Express and rubbed shoulders with music stars of the Britpop era.

While it provided him with fame, Nevin missed out on footballing fortune. He left Everton and moved across the Mersey to Tranmere Rovers just as the new Premiership (as it then was) age dawned in 1992. Yet he has forged an interesting career away from football, which almost certainly accounts for the rounded opinions to be heard when he?s in the co-commentator?s seat working for BBC radio.

Nevin is unconcerned that football?s big money days passed him by; fans of radio commentary and readers of intelligent football books should be pleased they did.


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