Ingerland: Travels with a Football Nation
Perryman, M. (2006) Ingerland: Travels with a Football Nation Simon & Schuster Ltd, Cambridge. ISBN 0743268733
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Over 200,000 England fans travelled to watch Euro 2004 in Portugal. More tickets were despatched to English addresses than any other country apart from the host nation, and England's Supporters' Club boasts more members - 17,000 - than those of many other European nations combined. Almost all of these members travel to every England away game. What has led to this explosion in interest? Is it just an offshoot of the embracing of football within our celebrity-obsessed culture? Or is it more to do with the slow but inexorable eviction of the archetypal England football thug from stadiums?In "Ingerland: Travels With A Football Nation", noted pundit and commentator Mark Perryman takes the pulse of an England away crowd as we approach one of the biggest tournaments for years: the 2006 World Cup, forty years after England's triumph, hosted by the old enemy, Germany. He finds that although young working-class white men still make up the majority of fans, they are far less likely to be the hooligans of the 1970s and 80s and much more likely to be singing and chanting alongside black, Asian and women fans of the national team. Both celebration and exploration, "Ingerland" is a thought-provoking and evocative account of what it means to support the national team, and what that says about England's place in an increasingly disunited Kingdom.
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