Forget over-hyped sports memoirs, this is a fast, pacy novel that conveys what football is really like. It focuses on the ref – the figure hated by pretty much everyone. Plus this ref is Black – the only one in the League. I didn’t know Rennie, I looked him him up when I finished and found out the whole story is true – even more respect for that.
For example, he says, when you bring in the two captains for the coin toss, have your notebook in your hands, give the players a glimpse, fiddle with it, open it up, and close it again, he says, let the players know immediately their punishment if they fail to comply, where their name will end up if they choose to misbehave.