Stoke book is ideal Father’s Day gift for City fans

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Name of book? “Twinned With Reykjavik (Stoke City The Icelandic Years 1999-2006)”
Author? Stoke fan Liam Bullock.
Isn’t his dad the one who used to park his Vauxhall Cavalier in the most obscure places when he took the family to away games? You’ve been reading the book, haven’t you!
Ok, so what’s it about? It’s about the bizarre seven years that Stoke City were owned by a consortium from Iceland.
I’m a Sainsbury’s man myself. Does that count? Not that Iceland, Iceland the country.
So, how did this all come about? Well, in the late ’90s Gudjon Thordarson was Iceland’s top manager, by now running the National team. After casting his eye over some dodgy Icelandic players playing for dodgy Stoke, he reported back that third-tier City were worth a dodgy punt.
Dodgy? This was the Chris Kamara era after all. Unbelievable.
Didn’t the Icelandic investors realise that football is a bottomless money pit? That probably didn’t come up in discussions.
So how does Liam describe this era? Very much as a bridge from the stagnation of the late 1990s to the rise of a potential Premier club.
So, it’s a re-evaluation of a crucial period in Stoke’s history? Yes, Liam reasons that there was some point to it all, not just a colonial instinct to pronounce complex foreign names very badly.
The big question is, would Stoke have made it to the Premier League without the Icelandics? Of course they would have, but then we wouldn’t have enjoyed so much complete bonkers!
Can I mention Boskamp here? You don’t need to. There’s enough bonkers stuff with Gudjon, Pulis’ binary season and Gunnar Gislason & the nasal spray.
Is the nasal spray story in this book? Ah, no it’s in that other bonkers book, Triffic!, but we weren’t going to mention that.
So, should people go out and buy loads of brainless tacky Fathers Day rubbish from the shops? NO NO NO NO NO!! They should buy this book NOW!!
You always say that! No, really, this book is a real page-turner for fans. Recent, relevant and thoughtful.
Despite not mentioning the nasal spray story? Hey, it has a chapter called “The Legend Of Oulare’s Arse”, it tells of Simon Lowe’s bed-making skills, and the sad tale of Liam’s Peter Thorne replica shirt.
There is just one mystery in the book. Liam refers to Lawrie Sanchez having a “sh*t-eating grin”. What is that exactly? Not a clue.