Review: Wings of a Sparrow by Dougie Brimson (4/5)

Tuesday, 10 June 2014
Rob Cooper, self-confessed football fanatic and editor of the United FC fanzine, Wings Of A Sparrow, returns from watching his team succumb to yet another defeat to discover that not only has he inherited an estate worth in excess of six million pounds, but that it has been left to him by an uncle he never knew he had.

However, even as Rob is struggling to come to terms with these two bombshells, he is hit with another. For the estate contains ownership of an almost bankrupt professional football club. And the terms of the will are such that Rob will only receive his inheritance if he takes over the running of the club and manages to keep them going for the coming season. The problem is, the club concerned are the local and very bitter rivals of the club Rob and his family have passionately supported all their lives.

But after wrestling with his conscience, and driven by his wife's desire for instant wealth, he accepts the challenge with a promise to the United faithful that he will do whatever he can to ensure that whilst his new club might survive, its supporters are about to experience the most depressing season in their history!

And so, in the full glare of the media spotlight, he sets out to do what most football fans could only ever dream about; humiliate their local rivals.
The trouble is, it just doesn't work out like that!


I was very excited to read this book once I found out what it was about. I would call myself a casual football fan, certainly not as hardcore and as obsessive as people I know in real life. However I do understand the rivalries football fans have. But it's also scary how easily a bit of banter can turn into a full blown argument, or worse. Football rivalry plays a huge role in this book when our main character gets a chance to put one over his rivals fans in a big way and a very inventive way I thought, I loved the plot of this book and hoped it would live up to my excitement. Luckily it did.

Dougie is a brilliant writer. The writing is easy to read and is very engaging. The pages literally turn themselves. Rob Cooper is a die hard United fan and when he is left an estate by a family member it comes with a twist, to inherit the estate he must take ownership of United's rival club and make them survive the season. Sounds good right? It was. You definitely don't need to be a huge football fan to enjoy this book. The teams are United and City but are generic and could be any two rival clubs in the UK.

I couldn't wait to read on to find out how Rob would cope with this and had the book read after just a few hours. It's not hard to relate to Rob in the situation he finds himself in. Just think of something you love, and then think about how you would feel having to try and make its rival become a success. You certainly felt for Rob with the dilemma he found himself facing. I especially loved his wife Jane and the part she played in the book. A very funny, OTT but believable character. Inheriting a large sum of money is great, the catch that Rob is given, not so much. I had no idea how the story would progress. Alongside the humour it is a quite serious read and Rob ends up learning a lot about himself over the course of the book.

I think this book would work brilliantly on TV, especially over a couple of episodes or as a film. It's a unique and original idea that was executed perfectly. Definitely reccommend this book.

Buy the book from Amazon

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