The Game of Three Halves and other Bizarre Football Stories is a superbly entertaining little book from Robert Lodge filled with true stories about the wackier and more fatal side of the game.
Lodge is an extremely experienced author and journalist who has spent a long time researching the stories and tragedies which are chronicled in a simple and easy to follow way. This is a good follow up on his previous titles; 1001 Greatest Football Moments and The Little Book of West Ham .
In the introduction Lodge produces a sensible and thoughtful opening statement which allows you to quickly latch onto the idea that this book is more than just a joke, filled with stories that will make you laugh but a more engaging look at the game and how sometimes simple events can turn into disaster.
There is no order to this book at all, no sub-sections, no contents page and no index. Don’t be put off by this because this is what works so well about it. Read the first two pages and you will casually find yourself flicking through the pages as quick as a flash.
The lack of content direction means you never know what’s going to come next but Lodge and the editors have done a great job combining the stories so you’re not hit with a dozen pages of epic tragedy.
You may be someone who thinks they know football and the historic antics of many players inside out but there will be something in this read that you didn’t know about. Upon my first read of this book I learnt three new stories on the first two pages I had no idea existed.
The stories are condensed into just a few sentences with the best details retained. You can dip in and out of the book at will whether you’re just looking for a bit of casual reading or want to gain some knowledge to dazzle your mates with down the pub.