Fearless sportswriter and gonzo journalist George Plimpton tried his hand as an “amateur professional” at numerous top-level sports, including baseball, ice hockey, basketball, boxing, golf, tennis and – most famously – American football for the Detroit Lions, which he wrote about in his classic book “Paper Lion”. But he also played proper football, or soccer, for the Tampa Bay Rowdies, and later faced Pele. He never wrote about his soccer experiences, so I put together this story for FourFourTwo.

Read the full story in the March 2018 issue of FourFourTwo.

George Plimpton in goal for the Tampa Bay Rowdies, 1979


Published by Paul Brown

Writes about football, history, true adventure. The Guardian, Four Four Two, When Saturday Comes, The Blizzard, Longreads, Deadspin, etc. Latest book: The Ruhleben Football Association. Twitter: @paulbrownUK