The Quiet Fan

By Ian Plenderleith

A fast, funny, emotive memoir showing how most fans really follow football.

Sport
128% funded
150 supporters
Published

Publication date: August 2018

Buy
You made The Quiet Fan a reality. It's available in all good book stores now.
$15 
27 pledges

Digital

Ebook edition
Choose this reward

Sold out!

$25  + shipping
6 pledges

Paperback Patron

1st edition paperback, ebook edition
$35  + shipping
74 pledges

Super Patron Paperback

1st edition Paperback, ebook edition and your name in the front of the book as a Super Patron
$45  + shipping
18 pledges

Signed

Signed 1st edition paperback, ebook edition and your name in the front of the book as a Super Patron
$65  + shipping
13 pledges

Two Copies

Two 1st edition paperbacks (only pay shipping once), ebook editions and two names in the front of the book as a Super Patron
$65  + shipping
1 pledge

Celtic FC pledge package

Signed first edition paperback with your name in the front of the book as a Super Patron; pristine Celtic FC Subbuteo team in original box; author's original match programme (Chapter Five: Aberdeen v Celtic 1984 Scottish Cup Final); extremely limited 2007 MLS All-Stars v Celtic FC scarf and pin.

$75  + shipping
8 pledges

Illustrated Postcards

Set of 10 illustrated postcards depicting scenes from the book (by When Saturday Comes illustrator Tim Bradford), plus signed 1st edition paperback, ebook edition and your name in the back of the book
Only 50 available
$95  + shipping
1 pledge

Lincoln City FC pledge package:

Signed first edition paperback with your name in the front of the book as a Super Patron; author's original match programme (Chapter One: Lincoln City v Exeter City, 1973); pristine Lincoln City Subbuteo team in original box; LCFC pencil case (1970s), badges, pennant (1980s), hat, replica shirt and patch (1960s).

$185  + shipping
6 pledges

Original Art Work

One original piece of artwork from postcard scenes by Tim Bradford, signed by him, plus signed 1st edition paperback, ebook edition and your name in the front of the book as a Super Patron
Only 10 available
$1,210  + shipping
1 pledge

Corporate Fan

In the spirit of the modern game, you pledge a large amount of cash and your company’s name is printed with a note of sincere appreciation at the front of the book. Plus five signed copies of the paperback first edition

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I get my book delivered to?

We deliver to most countries worldwide. Enter your delivery address during checkout and we'll display the shipping cost when we know where to send your book.

How do supporter names work?

Every person who pledges to help to make a book gets their name included in a supporter section as a thank you. If you want to add a different name, this can be changed in your account after you have completed your pledge.

Still have a question? Visit our Help Centre to find out more.

Who is the Quiet Fan?

It’s you, me and almost everyone who follows football. But for years we’ve been marginalised by the hooligans, the fanatics, the obsessives and the angry. Only the ‘passionate’, it seems, can say that they love their clubs and love the game. This quiet fan is finally speaking up and saying: it’s time to reclaim the middle ground.

In a memoir recounting the combined folly and delights of supporting Lincoln City, Scotland and Rangers (it’s complicated), Ian Plenderleith speaks up for the fans you never notice - the quiet ones sitting (or standing) among the howlers, the shouters and the fist-shakers. From a grim and foul-mouthed fourth division encounter in early 1970s Lincolnshire through to a star-studded orgy of fireworks and excess in 21st century New York, he examines the role of football as a reassuring, ever-present background to life's thrills, pains and fluctuations.

In a pacy, wit-driven mixture of observation, anecdotes and analysis, this book looks anew at the way we watch and relate to football. How it can be a fundamental part of our lives, but without completely blanketing some other important issues like love, death, divorce and the Birmingham post-punk indie scene. How football is, of course, so much more than a game, but perhaps just slightly less than the universe.

Ever since Fever Pitch and the wave of hard man football literature 20 years ago, we’ve been told that the only way to express our love for football is through extreme, absurd, violent or negative emotions. The Quiet Fan sees things differently. Magnificent, frustrating, invigorating football is our game too.

Quick select rewards

$15 
27 pledges

Digital

Ebook edition
Choose this reward
$35  + shipping
74 pledges

Super Patron Paperback

1st edition Paperback, ebook edition and your name in the front of the book as a Super Patron
  • Ian Plenderleith avatar

    Ian Plenderleith

    Ian Plenderleith is a Frankfurt-based football writer and journalist. He is the author of the football short story collection For Whom The Ball Rolls, and the non-fiction Rock n Roll Soccer: The Short Life and Fast Times of the North American Soccer League. He has been writing about football in the UK, Switzerland, Germany and the US for the past 25 years for When Saturday Comes, The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal, Soccer America and numerous other newspapers, magazines and websites. A lifelong fan, player and coach, he also writes a weekly blog, Referee Tales, about how much he enjoys receiving non-stop abuse for his unconscionable attempts at refereeing in the German amateur leagues.

    Ian tweets at @PlenderleithIan and @refereetales.

  • Chapter Two – Tears

    Lincoln City v Plymouth Argyle, League Division Three, Saturday November 18, 1978.  

    Death On The Glorious Twelfth

    The 1978-79 season began on the ‘glorious’ twelfth of August, Lincoln going 2-0 down at Bradford City in the first round, first leg of the League Cup, and my Uncle John falling to his death at the age of 40 from the roof of his house in nearby Leeds. During the following winter, strikes and heavy snow brought the country repeatedly to a halt, and the media-appointed Winter of Discontent signalled the end of Labour Government and the imminent rise to power of Margaret Thatcher. My grandfather set his flat on fire when drunk and died from smoke inhalation, my Dad left my Mum for a younger woman, and Lincoln finished at the bottom of division three after a miserable season. If I’d only been able to sing and play guitar I could have written a country, western and blues album and made a fortune.

    My uncle and I understood each other perfectly because he was a football fan. Now, my Dad is a fan too, but not in quite the same way. My Dad is a cynical, pessimistic fan who always expects the worse, and who also manages to affect an air of detachment if his side is losing. He’ll generously acknowledge talent on the opposition team and accept defeat if it was fairly handed out (except when Scotland lose, which is always somehow unfair and always will be). But my uncle was a fan who saw each fresh game as an empty palette of sporting possibilities. Whereas my Dad would set out for Lincoln City with a stoical sigh, as if about to embark upon the hundredth battle of a grim and futile war, my uncle went to Leeds United and came back full of it – Eddie Gray’s dribbling, Peter Lorimer’s shooting, Billy Bremner’s fighting or Norman Hunter’s fouling. He loved every moment, good or bad, because it was all part of the spectacle, and once he got going on the subjects of Leeds and Scotland he would talk twice as quickly and twice as fervently as at any other time.

    “When Leeds are away from home,” he once told me, “there’s no greater pleasure in life than running a hot bath on a Saturday afternoon and then listening to the second-half radio commentary and the final results.” This is possibly the wisest thing that anyone in our family has ever said, although once my cousins were born I doubt that he ever managed this on more than one or two occasions. I can still remember the way he said it, though, in a tone which implied that although he didn’t regret for a second getting married and having three kids, he would be willing to pay several hundred pounds for the chance to sit in the tub on a Saturday afternoon, undisturbed but for the bubble bath and the bubbling voices of Peter Jones and Alan Parry and forty-odd thousand screaming people in the background.

    Read more...
  • 16th October 2018 Have you received your copy yet?

    Dear readers,

    I was in the US last week and met up with my old football team to drink beer and reminisce about past glories - both real and imagined. A few old hackers brought along their copy of The Quiet Fan for me to sign. Others said, "I haven't received my copy yet?" I asked them if they"d clicked on the email from Unbound asking them to confirm their address. Responses included: 1."What's…

    6th June 2018 Edits done, now mulling cover versions

    Dear quiet fans,

    It's been a while since I've updated you, and if you're like me and groan whenever you see anything corporately branded in your inbox, then you're probably thankful for that. Nonetheless, I feel it's time for a quick message because one or two people have politely enquired, "Where the **** is my book?"

    Since the turn of the year The Quiet Fan has undergone a stringent and highly…

    6th November 2017 Making 'The Quiet Fan' happen by converting to paperback

    Dear loyal supporters,

    After funding for The Quiet Fan almost reached 50%, things went rather quiet. This occasionally happens with Unbound books, and when it does they sometimes agree with authors to publish their books in e-book/paperback editions only. As I was definitely not born to crowd-fund, this seems right for me.

     

    The major upside is that an e-book/paperback edition requires less cash…

    26th July 2017 A summer appeal and The Quiet Fan blog

    It's summer. It's quiet. Many people switch off their computers, and that's a good thing. It also means stagnation for crowd-funders. When the sun's shining, who wants to read emails asking you to pledge money? I freely admit that I usually press 'delete'.

    Still, I'm going to appeal to you, my loyal supporters, to try and persuade just one or two football fans in your wider circles to buy The…

    26th May 2017 Interview and another excerpt

    Dear Supporters,

    Thank you for tolerating another update. Just wanted to alert you to another excerpt from The Quiet Fan, posted today by When Saturday Comes magazine, pertaining to the 1984 Scottish Cup Final. That was the day when, as a soft and very quiet Rangers fan, I was trapped in the Celtic section and forced to show the appropriate emotions in the midst of a crushing hangover.

    The…

    10th May 2017 Chapter One - boxed set and sampler

    Dear backers and potential readers,

    The boxed set for Chapter One, 'Lincoln City v Exeter City: Cursing' is now on my pledge page. There will be future boxed sets for each specific chapter, though not necessarily in any coherent order (depends which cupboards and boxes I open first).

    After an Introduction severely doubting the worth of Albert Camus' quote connecting football to morals and…

  • These people are helping to fund The Quiet Fan.

    User avatar

    Nick Rowles-Davies

    User avatar

    Mark Taylor

    User avatar

    Derek Priestley

    User avatar

    Amanda Slater

    User avatar

    David Matkins

    User avatar

    David Baillie

    User avatar

    Rosslyn Spokes

    User avatar

    Lynn Genevieve

    User avatar

    Kenny Pieper

    User avatar

    Pete Harris

    User avatar

    ben jones

    User avatar

    Philippa Rose

    User avatar

    Colin Green

    User avatar

    Roger Miles

    User avatar

    Carlo Navato

    User avatar

    Lincoln City FC

    User avatar

    Suzanne Fitzpatrick

    User avatar

    Simon Harper

    User avatar

    Andrew Coburn

    User avatar

    Jonathan Carr

    User avatar

    Jane Chamberlain

    User avatar

    Clive Nates

    View more