One Northern Soul was first published in 2002 featuring the character Steven Bottomley and whose story is continued in the 2005 sequel, No More Heroes.
This first book by J R Endeacott focuses on the life of the young Steve as he grows up in Leeds during the 1980’s. From the illustrations on the cover and back of the book, it is evident that Leeds United feature within the pages of this book. On the front, there is a picture of the ‘disallowed’ goal from the 1975 European Cup Final, when Leeds lost 2-0 to Bayern Munich in controversial circumstances. That game in Paris has significance as just as Steve recognises that upon his dad’s return from Paris, “…his passion definitely waned and he never went to watch Leeds away from Elland Road again in his life…”, that somehow this changed the course of his life. As the back cover of the books says, “…if that goal in Paris has been allowed then everything that followed could have been different…”
Indeed, football is used as a metaphor and so the trials and tribulations of Steve’s life are reflected in the ups and downs at Elland Road. The book provides such nice little cameos of growing up in the 1980’s especially of life in Leeds. The reader follows Steve through his final days at school, his early sexual exploits, hooliganism and friendship, all told with a humour, naivety and cockiness-to-shyness that our teenage years inflict upon us emotionally.
One Northern Soul is not a large book, at less than one hundred pages, but contains enough little gems within it to appeal to an audience wider than the good citizens’ of Leeds and the supporters’ of its football club.
Original review can be found here.