Stuff by Paul Brown

Stuff by Paul Brown

Freelance Writer

Books and articles about football and other stuff.


Books

Paul Brown

The Ruhleben Football Association
How Steve Bloomer’s Footballers Survived a First World War Prison Camp

“The real Escape to Victory.” - Sports Journalists’ Association

Paul Brown

Savage Enthusiasm
A History of Football Fans

“An impeccably sourced primer on what has happened to fans down the ages” – When Saturday Comes


Articles

Burgers With Muhammad Ali

The unlikely friendship between a down-on-his-luck boxing fan and the greatest boxer of all time.


eBook originals


Stuff by Paul Brown

About

Hello. I am a writer called Paul Brown. I write books and articles about football, history, true crime and other stuff. I’ve written for publications including The Guardian, FourFourTwo, When Saturday Comes, The Blizzard, Longreads, and The Atavist. My books include The Ruhleben Football Association and The Rocketbelt Caper. I specialise in unusual and forgotten stories from history with colourful characters and cinematic narratives. My work has been set up for development at major movie studios. I was a consultant on the Netflix drama The English Game. I’ve appeared on BBC Radio 4 and 5 Live, BT Sport, and Premier League TV. I’ve got a background in business and publishing. I have an MA in Creative Writing. I’m a member of the Football Writers’ Association. I’m based in the North East of England.


Contact

Email: paul at paulbrown.xyz / Twitter: @paulbrownUK


Stuff by Paul Brown

Stuff by Paul Brown

Football Writing

I write books and articles about football. I specialise in unusual and forgotten stories from football history, often with a true crime or adventure twist. My most recent books include The Ruhleben Football Association and Savage Enthusiasm: A History of Football Fans. I’ve written for leading football magazine FourFourTwo since 2003, and also for The Guardian, When Saturday Comes, The Blizzard, Deadspin, Howler and more. I was a consultant on the 2020 Netflix football drama The English Game. I’ve spoken about my football writing on BBC Radio 4 and 5 Live, BT Sport, and Premier League TV. I’m a member of the Football Writers’ Association. I’m based in the North East of England.

Selected football writing:

The Ruhleben Football Association (book)
FC Pripyat: The Team That Survived the Chernobyl Disaster (FourFourTwo)
George Best And The Soccer Battle Of The Sexes (Deadspin)
Pierre Mony: The Footballer Who Got Away With Murder (The Guardian)
Arthur Pember: The Mermaid Hunter Who Invented Association Football (Howler)
More books and articles


Contact

Email: paul at paulbrown.xyz / Twitter: @paulbrownUK


Stuff by Paul Brown

Stuff by Paul Brown

Feature Writing

I write books and articles about true crime, adventure, and sports. I specialise in narrative longform features that tell unusual and forgotten stories from history. I seek out colourful characters and cinematic tales. Many of my stories have a sports connection, with a particular focus on football. I’ve written for publications including The Guardian, FourFourTwo, Longreads, Narratively and The Atavist. I've featured several times in the Sunday Long Reads and Longreads newsletters. I've expanded some of my features into books. My most recent book is wartime sports drama The Ruhleben Football Association. My true crime book The Rocketbelt Caper was optioned for film by a major movie studio. My Kindle Single eBook From A Blood-Red Sea has also been set up for development at a major studio. I was a consultant on the Netflix drama The English Game. I have an MA in Creative Writing. I’m based in the North East of England.

Selected feature writing:

How Four Americans Robbed The Bank of England (Longreads)
The Man Who Walked His Life Away (Deadspin)
The Football Team That Survived the Chernobyl Disaster (FourFourTwo)
The Mermaid Hunter Who Invented Soccer (Howler)
Burgers With Muhammad Ali (The Cauldron)
More books and articles


Contact

Email: paul at paulbrown.xyz / Twitter: @paulbrownUK


Stuff by Paul Brown

Books

The Ruhleben Football Association

The Ruhleben Football Association
How Steve Bloomer’s Footballers Survived a First World War Prison Camp

In 1914, at the outbreak of the First World War, several of Britain’s greatest footballers were interned in a brutal prison camp at Ruhleben, near Berlin.

"The real Escape to Victory.”
Sports Journalists’ Association

Savage Enthusiasm

Savage Enthusiasm
A History of Football Fans

Savage Enthusiasm explores the complete history of watching football, from the very earliest days of the game, via golden ages and troubled times, through to the present day.

“An impeccably sourced primer on what has happened to fans down the ages” – When Saturday Comes

The Rocketbelt Caper

The Rocketbelt Caper
A True Tale of Invention, Obsession and Murder

When three men set out to build a jetpack-style flying machine, their obsession with the Rocketbelt 2000 shattered their friendship and set in motion an astonishing chain of events involving theft, deception, kidnapping, a ten million dollar lawsuit, and a brutal murder.

“A delight to read. Genuinely stranger than fiction.”
Popular Science UK

All With Smiling Faces

All With Smiling Faces
How Newcastle Became United, 1881-1910

All With Smiling Faces takes a wander through the forgotten early history of Newcastle United to discover how the football club came to mean so much to so many.

"A fantastic book.” – Newcastle Chronicle
“I loved it!” – Ant McPartlin

The Victorian Football Miscellany

The Victorian Football Miscellany
Stories and trivia from football’s earliest years

The Victorian Football Miscellany is a quirky and fascinating collection of trivia, facts and anecdotes from football’s earliest years.

“One of the greatest books ever written about football since Charlie Buchan put down his pen!” – Danny Baker

Messages From The Sea

Messages from the Sea
Letters and Notes from a Lost Era Found in Bottles and on Beaches Around the World

True stories behind messages found washed ashore on beaches and bobbing in water, in corked bottles and wax-sealed boxes, carved onto wreckage and in the bellies of sharks.

“Unbelievable true stories of messages in bottles brought to life” – Daily Express

eBook originals

From A Blood-Red Sea

From A Blood-Red Sea
The Last Voyage of Daniel Collins
Kindle Single eBook

The incredible true story of US sailor Daniel Collins, who was shipwrecked and then attacked by pirates during his first – and last – voyage as a merchant seaman, in the winter of 1824.

“For fans of The Revenant and In the Heart of the Sea, From a Blood-Red Sea is one of the most remarkable survival stories ever told.”

Sins Dyed In Blood

Sins Dyed In Blood
The Lost Pirate of Blackbeard’s Golden Age
Kindle Single eBook

The untold story of Edward Robinson, the reluctant "Newcastle Pirate", who sailed with Blackbeard and Stede Bonnet during the Golden Age of Piracy in the early 1700s.

“A swashbuckling true adventure offering fresh insight into the most infamous pirates of the Golden Age. Kidnapped meets Pirates of the Caribbean."

Out of print:

Goal-Post: Victorian Football Vols 1&2
Unofficial Football World Champions
Balls: Tales From Football’s Nether Regions
Black and White Army: A Season Supporting Newcastle United


Stuff by Paul Brown

Articles

Direct Control: No Takeover at Newcastle (When Saturday Comes, Oct 2020)
Explosion at the Arsenal: How a 1907 Accident “Wiped Out” Arsenal Football Club (Medium Soccer Stories, Sept 2020)
25 Things We Loved About Mexico 70 (FourFourTwo, July 2020)
Out of the Hotbed: Broadcaster David Taylor’s Untold Stories from North East Football (The Blizzard, Issue 37)
How Four Americans Robbed The Bank of England (Longreads, June 2020)
The Bet That Ruined a Career (FourFourTwo, April 2020)
The Football Hypnotist (When Saturday Comes, Feb 2020)
-
George Best And The Soccer Battle Of The Sexes (Deadspin, Dec 2019)
The Football War (FourFourTwo + Podcast, Dec 2019)
The Killing of Tommy Ball (FourFourTwo, Nov 2019)
Football in World War II: The Matches That Boosted Morale (When Saturday Comes, October 2019)
FC Pripyat: The Team That Survived the Chernobyl Disaster (FourFourTwo + Podcast, Sept 2019)
Tyne & Weary: The Last Straw for Newcastle Fans (When Saturday Comes, Sept 2019)
Millwall Panorama: A Good Game of Football, a Good Punch-Up, a Good Piss-Up (FourFourTwo, August 2019)
The Kidnapping of Alfredo Di Stefano (FourFourTwo, July 2019)
The Man Who Walked His Life Away (Deadspin, June 2019)
Harry Trainer: International Footballer and Jewel Thief (The Blizzard + The Guardian + Podcast, June 2019)
Football’s First Websites: Meet the Internet Pioneers (FourFourTwo, March 2019)
Political Players: Serving MPs in Football’s Forgotten First International (NPLH, Issue 3)
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Oh, I Say! The History of Football Commentators (FourFourTwo, Dec 2018)
The Kidnapping of Jimmy Hill (FourFourTwo, Nov 2018)
The Alternative History of Set-Pieces (FourFourTwo, Nov 2018)
Direct Action: Newcastle Fans vs Mike Ashley (When Saturday Comes, Nov 2018)
The Man Who Invented Football Cards (When Saturday Comes, Oct 2018)
The Untold Story of the Wrong World Cup (FourFourTwo, Aug 2018)
The Jules Rimet Mystery (When Saturday Comes, Aug 2018)
Before the World Cup: Who Were Football’s Earliest World Champions? (Medium: Sports, June 2018)
World Cup Stories: Uruguay 1930, Brazil 1950, England 1966 and Italy 1990 (Medium: Sports, June 2018)
And the Football World Champions Are… Sunderland?! (FourFourTwo, June 2018)
Hell for Leather: The 1930 World Cup Ball Mystery (When Saturday Comes, June 2018)
How to Make a Victorian Football and more (Kickaround, from April 2018)
Gonzo Soccer: George Plimpton and the Tampa Bay Rowdies (FourFourTwo, March 2018)
For Old Times’ Sake: The Preston Invincibles Reunion Match (When Saturday Comes, February 2018)
Alf Doig’s Gold Rush: The Scottish Football Pioneer Who Went To Alaska (Nutmeg, Issue 6 + Medium: Soccer Stories)
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Johnny and Jimmy: The Contrasting Fortunes of Two Victorian Football Stars (The Blizzard, Dec 2017)
Part of the Club: How Casual Spectators Became Football Fanatics (When Saturday Comes, Dec 2017)
How Did We Become Soccer Fans? The Irresistible Rise of Football (Medium, Nov 2017)
Fanspotting: The History of Football Fandom via Fan Tribes (FourFourTwo, Oct 2017)
Coining a Phrase: The Origins of “the Beautiful Game” (When Saturday Comes, Jul 2017)
Penalty Clauses: The Introduction of Football’s Penalty Kick Law (When Saturday Comes, Apr 2017)
When Man United Called Anfield Home / When Outfield Players Go in Goal (FourFourTwo, Mar 2017)
Still With Us: Gateshead FC (When Saturday Comes, Feb 2017)
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Pierre Mony: The Footballer Who Got Away With Murder (The Guardian + The Blizzard + Podcast, Dec 2016)
The Bizarre History of Football Loans (FourFourTwo, Oct 2016)
The Life-And-Death History of the Message in a Bottle (Medium, Oct 2016)
Football Hustlers: British Players in America’s First Pro Soccer League (The Blizzard, Sept 2016)
Football Wikipedia: Meet the Men Who Keep It up to Date (FourFourTwo, Sept 2016)
Islington Corinthians: Football’s First World Tour (FourFourTwo, May 2016)
Arthur Pember: The Mermaid Hunter Who Invented Association Football (Howler, Apr 2016)
Football Chants: The Origins of Fans’ Favourite Songs (FourFourTwo, Mar 2016)
Elephant Football: A Victorian Football Sensation (When Saturday Comes, Feb 2016)
Nick Ross and Harry Chapman: Football Originals (FourFourTwo, Mar 2016)
Czech Mate: Pavel Srnicek Remembered (When Saturday Comes, Feb 2016)
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Inside Out: Britain’s First Indoor Football League (The Guardian + When Saturday Comes, Oct 2015)
Screen Test: Danny Baker’s the Game (When Saturday Comes, Sept 2015)
British Football’s Biggest Crowd: Hampden Park, 1937 (The Blizzard, Jun 2015)
Half-Time: A History (FourFourTwo, May 2015)
How to Be a Sporting Journalist in the Early 1900s: Two Carrier Pigeons Required (The Guardian + When Saturday Comes, Mar 2015)
How to Beat the Winter Freeze: Football’s Frozen Pitch Dilemma / Football’s Strange Tech (FourFourTwo, Feb 2015)
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Up There Book Review (When Saturday Comes, Dec 2014)
History of the Magic Sponge (FourFourTwo, Nov 2014)
Casting the Net: The Invention of the Goal Net (When Saturday Comes, Sept 2014)
The Real Escape to Victory: Football in Ruhleben Prison Camp (FourFourTwo, Sept 2014)
Burgers With Muhammad Ali: A Boxing Fan’s Friendship With the Champ (Medium: The Cauldron, Jul 2014)
The Birth of the Fan: The Origins of the Football Supporter (The Blizzard + Podcast, Mar 2014)
The Amazing Archie Goodall: “Nothing So Extraordinary Ever Seen!” (FourFourTwo, Apr 2014)
Sing Your Hearts Out for the Lads: A History of Football Songs (FourFourTwo, Mar 2014)
A Fag at Half-Time: A History of Smoking in Football (FourFourTwo, Feb 2014)
Football on Christmas Day (FourFourTwo, Jan 2014)
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Early Doors It All Went Pear-Shaped: Football Idioms (FourFourTwo, Nov 2013)
Football Floodlights: A History (FourFourTwo, Oct 2013)
Post-War Football: The 1946-47 Season (FourFourTwo, Sept, 2013)
Tour De Force: Newcastle’s Epic 1949 US and Canada Tour (The Guardian + When Saturday Comes, Aug 2013)
Football in 1863: What Was the Game Like in the Year It Was Created? (FourFourTwo, June 2013)
FA Founding Fathers: The Men Who Shaped Football (When Saturday Comes, May 2013)
Newton Heath Take Offence: Victorian Football’s Libel Sensation (When Saturday Comes, Feb 2013)
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The First Football Columnist: How Early Journalists Helped Shape the Game (The Blizzard, Dec 2012)
Your Next Box Set: John From Cincinnati (The Guardian, Sept 2012)
Venezia and the Tornado (IBWM, June 2012)
David Icke: It’s a Tough Game, Son! (Goalkeeper, May 2012)
The First Football Video Game (Late Tackle, May 2012)
Spirit of the Chollima (IBWM, Mar 2012)
Your Next Box Set: Boomtown (The Guardian, Feb 2012)
The Scoop Inter City Superleague (Late Tackle, Jan 2012)
The Victorian Goalkeeper (Goalkeeper, Jan 2012)
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Rebranding of St James’ Park (The Guardian, Nov 2011)
The Ten Best Fictional Goalkeepers (Goalkeeper, Nov 2011)
Jon Stark: Footballer of the Future (Late Tackle, Oct 2011)
Footballers’ Desert Island Discs (When Saturday Comes, Oct 2011)
Got, Got, Got, Need! a History of Football Stickers (FourFourTwo, Sept 2011)
The Greatest Goal I Ever Saw (Sabotage Times, May 2011)
Baines Football Cards: The Victorian Panini (IBWM, Apr 2011)
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The Own Goal: Football’s Ultimate Cock-Up (Sabotage Times, Dec 2010)
How to Turn iPhone App Ideas Into Cash (The Guardian, May 2009)
The Ebook Format War (The Guardian, Apr 2009)
Online Music and the Beatles Gap (The Guardian, Apr 2009)
The Death of the Download (The Guardian, Jan 2009)
Fringe – TV Show Review (Fortean Times, Nov 2008)
Rocket Man’s Flight of Fancy (The Guardian, Oct 2008)
Black and White Blood (The Times, Sept 2008)
How to Be a Website Flipper (The Guardian, Sept 2008)
The Mystery of Flight 574 (Sunday Herald Magazine, April 2007)
You’re Booked! – World’s Biggest Football Bookshop (FourFourTwo, March 2007)
Beer and Football – Illegal Pub Broadcasts (FourFourTwo, Sept 2006)
A to Z of World Cup Madness (Loaded, Jul 2006)
Some Chickens Are on the Pitch… – Animals (FourFourTwo, Oct 2005)
By Far the Greatest Team the World Has Ever Seen – Unofficial Football World Championships (FourFourTwo, Oct 2004)
Whoops! – Penalties (FourFourTwo, July 2004)
You Don’t Know What You’re Doing – Referees (FourFourTwo, March 2004)
I Don’t Think You Wanted to Do That – Own Goals (FourFourTwo, Feb 2004)
Hands Resist Him – The eBay Haunted Painting (Sunday Herald Mag, Oct 2003)
You Laugh, You Cry – North East Derby (FourFourTwo, July 2003)
Jetpack Murder Mystery (Jack, July 2003)
Earlier bylines: Loaded, Jack, Front, Better Business, Bitterwallet, Boys Toys, Code…


Savage Enthusiasm

Savage Enthusiasm

A History of Football Fans

Paul Brown


The complete history of watching football, from the very earliest days of the game, via golden ages and troubled times, through to the present day.

"A splendid new book by an always exemplary researcher" - Sports Journalists’ Association

“An excellent read, rich in anecdotes and explanation” - Game of the People

Imprint: Goal Post
Non-fiction: Football, History
Paperback, 9780995541221
Also available as an eBook


From the cover:

Being a football fan is both a privilege and a burden. When you’re winning, it’s the best thing on Earth, and when you’re not, it’s the end of the world. And the thing about being a football fan is, whichever way fortune swings, you’re stuck with the game and your team for life. We’ve come to accept the great hold football has on us. But how did this happen? How did we become so entirely wrapped up in the game? How did we become football fans?

Savage Enthusiasm traces the evolution of the football fan from the sport’s earliest origins right up to the present day, exploring how football became the world’s most popular spectator sport, and why it became the undisputed game of the people. The history of the football fan is also a social history, a political history, a history of the media, and a history of the game itself. Primarily, though, it’s a history of people going out to watch their teams, win or lose, then going back again and again. It’s a celebration of watching football, dedicated to anyone who has ever had their heart gladdened or saddened by the game.


Reviews:

“A very decent, impeccably sourced, primer on what has happened to fans down the ages” – When Saturday Comes

“Predictably excellent… a breezy run through the fan’s experience and at its heart the notion of football’s irresistibility – why did the sport become such a behemoth, beloved by millions?” – The Two Unfortunates

“A splendid new book by [an] always exemplary researcher” – Sports Journalists’ Association

Savage Enthusiasm is littered with golden nuggets” – The Football Pink

“A welcome addition to the social history of football support” – Martin Cloake / Medium

“An excellent read, rich in anecdotes and explanation” – Game of the People

“An important addition to efforts that seek to put a history of football fans on a par with the well-written histories of players, owners and administrators to form a complete picture of a sport that is so dominant in our culture” – Sports books of the year – Irish Examiner

More coverage:
“A shot in time shows what it means to be a fan” – Daily Mail
“The evolution of the football fan – and what it says about the game” – i News
“It’s often a frustrating existence, so why do so many of us become football fans?” – Newcastle Chronicle
“Being a football fan is both a privilege and a burden” – Derby Telegraph


Buy Savage Enthusiasm

Savage Enthusiasm

Direct orders via PayPal:

Available from Amazon and eBay, or direct from the publisher via PayPal. Direct orders: £10 plus postage. Select UK, Europe or Rest of World. Payments handled securely via PayPal. You do not need a PayPal account. UK orders via Royal Mail 2nd Class (3 working days aim). Non-UK orders via Royal Mail International Standard (3-7 working days aim).

Also available from good bookshops including Stanchion and The Back Page.


Rocketbelt Caper

The Rocketbelt Caper

A True Tale of Invention, Obsession and Murder

Paul Brown


When three men set out to build a jetpack-style flying machine, their obsession with the Rocketbelt 2000 shattered their friendship and set in motion an astonishing chain of events involving theft, deception, kidnapping, a ten million dollar lawsuit, and a brutal murder.

‘A delight to read. Genuinely stranger than fiction. Recommended.’ – Popular Science UK

Imprint: Superelastic
Non-fiction: True Crime, Technology
Paperback, ISBN 9780956227003
Also available as an ebook


From the cover:

"We finished the rocketbelt, and from then on there was murder, kidnapping, and all kinds of other stuff." - Brad Barker

When three men set out on a quest to build a real-life Buck Rogers-style flying machine, their obsession with the Rocketbelt 2000, or "Pretty Bird", shattered their friendship and set in motion an astonishing chain of events involving theft, deception, assault, a bizarre kidnapping, a ten million dollar lawsuit and a horrifically brutal murder. This book also reveals the secret history of the flying jetpack, involving Nazi scientists, James Bond, and the US Army. From sci-fi to reality, this is the incredible true story of the amazing rocketbelt.

Rocketbelt Caper Back

Reviews:

‘A delight to read. Genuinely stranger than fiction. Recommended.’ – Popular Science UK

‘The story has all the markings of a Hollywood blockbuster, and is a bizarrely unforgettable read.’ – The Crack

‘A can’t-put-it-down murder mystery that shows how obsession and betrayal can lead people to commit dastardly deeds.’ – General Aviation News

‘Reads like good movie material.’ – BBC Focus

‘There’s probably a Tarantino movie in this somewhere.’ – Fortean Times

‘Begins with a brief history of rocketbelts that’s probably the best ever in print.’ – Beam Jockey

‘This book is a must have.’ – Airwalker Society of Rocketbelt Enthusiasts

Selected as one of ShortList magazine’s 25 greatest summer reads.

Featured on The Dollop podcast.

Read an extract: Murder, Kidnapping and All Kinds of Other Stuff


Buy The Rocketbelt Caper


Victorian Football Miscellany

The Victorian Football Miscellany

Stories and trivia from football’s earliest years

Paul Brown


An exhaustively-researched collection of interesting, amusing and eye-opening stories, facts, and statistics from the earliest days of football.

“One of the greatest books ever written about football since Charlie Buchan put down his pen!” – Danny Baker

Imprint: Goal Post
Non-fiction: Sport, Football, History
Paperback, ISBN 9780956227058
Also available as an ebook


The Victorian Football Miscellany is an exhaustively-researched collection of interesting, amusing and eye-opening stories, facts, and statistics from the earliest days of football. The book highlights milestones from the the birth of football, and profiles leading Victorian clubs and players. There are tales of hacking, own goals, penalty kicks, and shinpads, not to mention dynamite, elephants, murders, and riots. The book contains more than 200 entries presented in chronological order, which, although by definition miscellaneous, add up to provide a pretty thorough history of Victorian football.

As featured in FourFourTwo and When Saturday Comes, and on the BBC Radio 5 Live Danny Baker Show, BBC Radio 4 Pick of the Week, and the BT Sport TV show Baker & Kelly’s VSPO.

From the cover:

The Victorian Football Miscellany is a quirky and fascinating collection of trivia, facts and anecdotes from football’s earliest years. Delve into an absorbing world of ox-bladder balls, baggy-kneed knickerbockers and outstanding moustaches, and read remarkable tales of the first ever cup final, the invention of the shinpad, the evolution of dribbling, the first own goal and a seemingly-invincible penalty-taking elephant. Other entries cover the foundation of the Football Association, the development of the Laws of the Game and the origins of football’s most popular clubs. Packed with biographies, profiles and lists, this is an indispensable guide to the colourful and unusual world of 19th century football.


Reviews:

“One of the greatest books ever written about football since Charlie Buchan put down his pen! Absolutely spectacular, mesmerising.” - Danny Baker, BBC Radio 5

“The colourful transitions the game went through to become the beast we know today are endlessly fascinating. This book doesn’t set out to tell the story in dense, sober detail, opting instead to present itself as a hugely entertaining exercise in eavesdropping.” - When Saturday Comes

"Fascinating stuff and gives a wonderful insight into how football began in the UK.” - The Football Attic

"The game that was played before the close of the nineteenth century is brought to life in Paul Brown’s excellent anecdoctal book." - England Football Online

“Compiling hundreds of histories, oddities and match reports – bizarre rule changes, 19th century floodlight failures – it’s all here. Four stars.” - FourFourTwo

“As the FA celebrates its 150th anniversary, this book is a cracking insight into those pioneering days; a veritable cornucopia of eclectic Victorian footballing splendour!” - Football Book Reviews

“An extremely readable book. Brown has a thorough yet light-hearted approach to the subjects he covers.” -
The Blue & White


"A charming new book." - Derby Telegraph

"A cornucopia of sports miscellany." - Sports Journalists' Association


Buy The Victorian Football Miscellany


Victorian Football Miscellany

All With Smiling Faces

All With Smiling Faces

Paul Brown


A wander through the forgotten early history of Newcastle United to discover how the football club came to mean so much to so many.

“I loved it!” - Ant McPartlin

Imprint: Goal Post
Non-fiction: Sport, Football, History
Paperback, ISBN 9780956227089
Also available as an ebook


All With Smiling Faces takes a wander through the early history of Newcastle United to discover how the club came to mean so much to so many. The book covers the club’s first 30 years, from foundation in 1881 to FA Cup triumph in 1910, and explores how Newcastle became successful and built up its loyal support.

The title is taken from the lyrics of Blaydon Races, the Tyneside music hall song that shares its Victorian heritage with Newcastle United and is still sung at St James’ Park today.

The cover features an exclusive painting by football artist Paine Proffitt.

From the cover:

How did Newcastle become United? When was the club formed, and where did it play before moving to St James’ Park? Who were the men who built the club, and how did they turn it into the most successful club in the country? What was it like to support Newcastle in the Victorian and Edwardian eras, and why has the bond between the club and its fans remained so strong?

All With Smiling Faces takes a wander through Newcastle’s early history to discover how the club came to mean so much to so many. Covering the first 30 years, from its foundation as Stanley FC in 1881 to the triumphant FA Cup win in 1910, the book visits the grounds, meets the players, mingles with the fans, and relives the matches that made Newcastle United.


Reviews and media:

“A fantastic new book, which charts the club’s early years and meteoric rise in the Victorian and Edwardian eras.” - Newcastle Chronicle

“I loved it!” - Ant McPartlin - Twitter

All With Smiling Faces book review – How Newcastle United started out under the names Stanley FC and Newcastle East End – When Saturday Comes

The forgotten grounds of Newcastle United – How the fledgling Magpies played at four long-forgotten grounds in the East End of Newcastle – Newcastle Chronicle

New book by Paul Brown looks at Newcastle United’s golden past – Newcastle fan was looking for something to smile about – and ended up writing a book – Newcastle Journal

Why Newcastle United fans are among the most passionate in football – New book explores the Victorian and Edwardian roots of Newcastle’s huge and fervent fan base – Newcastle Chronicle


Buy All With Smiling Faces


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Superelastic is a print and electronic publisher operated by Paul Brown.

Goal Post is Superelastic's football book imprint.

We do not accept author submissions.

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