Who does Robert Endeacott think he is, going round calling himself J.R.Endeacott? Oh, what the heck, we can forgive him the odd affectation, as he has written a rattling good follow-up to his succès d’éstime (I wonder what the French is for that), One Northern Soul.
Like its predecessor, No More Heroes is about the agony and the agony – with occasionally just a little bit of ecstasy – of being a Leeds United fan, reflected through the essentially miserable life of Leeds teenager Steve Bottomley.
And like most teenagers, his thought processes defy logic. Here he is, outlining one of the reasons he hates Manchester United: “They wore red shirts. Red, for hundreds of years, associated with blood, guilt, menstruation, debt, shame, hell, The Sun, and the Daily Mirror…And prostitutes. And Communists. And Communist prostitutes. And very possibly devil worshipping tabloid reading Communist prostitutes as well.”If it were just about Leeds United, though, it would be a dull book indeed, especially for those of us with the good sense to support a different side, like West Ham for instance. Fortunately, though, like most teenagers, Bottomley/Endeacott (who are you trying to kid, Robert?) worries and obsesses about more than football; his own body, his (lack of) sex life, and the mystifyingly awful musical taste of other people, for starters.
It’s very funny, with one of the best chapters on fungal infections I have ever read. Take that, Nick Hornby.
Buy this book. Endeacott is 40, single, lives in South Leeds, is an occasional guest on Kick Off With Kelner, and I saw him in Waterstones the other day queuing for a signed copy of Paul Gascoigne’s autobiography. How much misfortune should one man have to bear? Turn this one from a succès d’éstime into a succès de pots of money.
Original review can be found here.