x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Discourse on football fans, with a bitterness for Ryan Giggs

Bring Me The Head of Ryan Giggs isn't a cheerful read, but it does give insight into the obsessive world of football fans.

Bring Me The Head of Ryan Giggs
Rodge Glass
Bring Me The Head of Ryan Giggs Rodge Glass

While last year’s tabloid scandal may have tarnished his reputation somewhat, veteran Manchester United winger Ryan Giggs still commands widespread admiration for his footballing ability. Proof of which came when he was recently named captain of Team Great Britain for the 2012  Olympics.

However, the protagonist of Rodge Glass’s novel, fictional player Mikey Wilson, is one who doesn’t share this deference.

Wilson was a rising star in Man United’s youth set-up until a mistimed pass from Giggs in his first team debut leads to a career-wrecking collision with an opposition defender.

Wilson soon descends into alcoholism and a pitiable life, where he is overcome with a debilitating bitterness at Giggs’ continual triumphs.

All of which builds towards a dramatic denouement where the two cross paths again in the aftermath of United’s 2008 Uefa  Champions League victory.

Despite some moments of humour, this isn’t a cheerful read. In fact, sometimes one feels the author is overcooking the pathos by pouring misery upon misery on Wilson.

Nevertheless, it performs solidly enough as a discourse on the obsessive, often ridiculous nature of football fandom.