Lorelei and I met up yesterday to record a new title we are publishing in March called “A Short History of the World Cup”.
Everyone who knows me well has had a good laugh at the idea of my being involved in publishing a book on football. I am a complete and utter dunce when it comes to sport. Once, at an editorial meeting when a beautiful full colour pictorial book about Cristiano Ronaldo was being discussed, it had to be explained to me that he was a famous footballer and not a male model with just an impressive pair of abs and a great tan to his credit! (Although I have to admit if he ever has to give up the day job I am sure he won’t be lacking offers from the designers du jour...)
The mystery behind the fanaticism of football addicts is something I find impossible to comprehend. Why, whenever QPR lose, my two brothers, Rob and Martin take to wearing a metaphorical black arm band and wandering around in a gloom for several days is beyond understanding! It’s only a game, for goodness sake!!!
So it was an interesting exercise to commission Mail on Sunday football journalist Mark Ryan to write “A Short History of the World Cup” for us back in October last year. We commissioned the title because one of our clients was urgently trying to source an audio book on the subject and we were delighted to get our thinking caps on and help them out. We also realised that with the interest and - some might say - hysteria that surrounds the football world cup, it was a very good idea to publish something that recounts the history of how the tournament came into being at precisely the right time to coincide with this!
I have to admit I really enjoyed reading all about the origins of this amazing competition. How the idea for it was first mooted in 1872, but it wasn’t until the 1930’s it finally came to fruition with just a few countries competing in the inaugural tournament – right up to the modern day, which saw over 5.9 billion people watching the 2006 final in 54 countries around the world! Even more interestingly 41% of those watching were female!
There are loads of other great stories and interesting facts and figures in the book ... but I won’t spoil it by giving them all away here.
And you never know - this year I may just watch the World Cup final along with everyone else... or (much more likely!) maybe I’ll just go shopping in peace, knowing I can get a car park space and get served without queuing... while everyone else in the world is in the pub... watching the footie!! - AM
We'd love to know: Will you be glued to the World Cup this year?