World Cup Books: From Fever Pitch to Foxes
The players have assembled. The goals are ready to be scored. And here at Listening Books we’ve got some of the best World Cup books to listen to!
From all the facts about World Cup history, to a family of foxes that love football, we’ve got you covered. Want to know why the atmosphere of the World Cup is so different? Try A History of the World Cup. Or what it’s like to be a national football icon? Listen to Bobby Moore, which was written by his wife, Tina Moore. They’re all here in this list of World Cup books:
Fever Pitch – Nick Hornby
Nick Hornby has been a football fan since the moment he was conceived. Call it predestiny. Or call it preschool. Fever Pitch is his tribute to a lifelong obsession. Part autobiography, part comedy, part incisive analysis of insanity, Hornby’s award-winning memoir captures the fever pitch of fandom — its agony and ecstasy, its community, its defining role in thousands of young mens’ coming-of-age stories. Fever Pitch is one for the home team. But above all, it is one for everyone who knows what it really means to have a losing season.
My Story: Steven Gerrard
Steven Gerrard is the former captain of Liverpool football team and of the England national football team, and is the only player ever to have scored in a FA cup final, a league cup final, a UEFA cup final and a champion’s league final. His entire career, since 1998, has been spent at Anfield with Liverpool. In this book he charts his full playing career, shedding light on the defining games, his life off the pitch as well as the players and managers he’s encountered. Explosive, controversial and searingly honest, this will be the last word from an era-defining player.
The History of the World Cup – Brian Glanville
From Uruguay 1930 to France 1998, this is the remarkable tale of the World Cup. This audio book includes Sir Bobby Charlton remembering his unforgettable World Cup experiences, as well as stories of football heroes and villains, managers and referees.
Looking After Louis – Lesley Ely
“There’s a new boy at school called Louis. Louis sits next to me and I look after him. He’s not quite like the rest of us. Sometimes I wonder what he’s thinking about. He often just sits and stares at the wall. If I ask him what he’s looking at he says, ‘Looking at’ and carries on looking.” This introduction to the issue of autism shows how – through imagination, kindness, and a special game of football – Louis’s classmates find a way to join him in his world. Then they can include Louis in theirs.
Bobby Moore – Tina Moore
A tribute to the late Bobby Moore, captain of England’s World Cup winning side of 1966, one of the greatest footballers of his generation, and a man who personified Britain in the swinging sixties. This is his powerful and moving human-interest life story, as told by his wife Tina, including his battle against cancer.
Only one person was his true friend and confidante – his first wife, Tina, whom he met at 17 and married in 1962. With her, he went through all the triumphs and crises of his professional career – the life-threatening illness that struck him at 23, his clashes with West Ham (and later England) manager Ron Greenwood, his emergence as a footballer of international renown, the almost unheard of media intrusion and the kidnap threats on their children, that amazing 1966 World Cup Final day, the drama of Bogota when he was accused of theft, and his depression as he struggled to adapt to the end of his playing career.
Tina Moore’s story of her life with Bobby, the break-up of their marriage and what happened afterwards, is inspirational, candid and told with revelations and authentic insight into what made Bobby tick. Alongside previously unseen material that sheds new light on his character and anecdotes about players, wives and managers told from a female perspective, it is a moving tribute to a national icon by the person who knew him better than anyone.
Thinking Out Loud – Rio Ferdinand
In 2015, former England football star Rio Ferdinand suddenly and tragically lost his wife and soulmate Rebecca, aged 34, to cancer. It was a profound shock and Rio found himself struggling to cope not just with the pain of his grief, but also with his new role as both mum and dad to their three young children.
Rio’s BBC1 documentary, Being Mum and Dad, touched everyone who watched it and won huge praise for the honesty and bravery he showed in talking about his emotions and experiences. His book now shares the story of meeting, marrying and losing Rebecca, his own and the family’s grief – as well as the advice and support that get him through each day as they strive to piece themselves back together. Thinking Out Loud is written in the hope that he can inspire others struggling with loss and grief to find the help they need through this most difficult of times.
The Fox and the Ghost King – Michael Morpurgo
“Every fox in the whole town, in the whole country just about, is a football fan… And we all have an impossible dream.”
In a cosy den under a garden shed lives a family of foxes. They love to watch football – all foxes do. But their favourite team keeps losing and losing, and it seems like things will never look up. That is, until Daddy Fox finds the ghost of a king, buried underneath a car park. A king who wishes only to be free. “Release me,” says the Ghost King, “and I can do anything. Just tell me your greatest wish.” For these football-loving foxes, might everything be about to change…
All of these audiobooks are available to borrow from the Listening Books library. Which one is your favourite?
If you liked this post, you may also like: Books to Remind You of the Best World Cup Moments.