Mohammed Ali used to write poetry. Shelley and Wordsworth wrote poems about mountain-climbing. Byron wrote poems about swimming. The best athletes are like poetry in motion. As Jane Austen put it in Pride and Prejudice, “For what do we live but to make sport…?”
Not Just a Game is a unique archive of modern British sporting life – angling, boxing, canoeing, cricket, darts, golf, motorcycling, netball, polo, rugby, rowing, running, skating, snooker, swimming and tennis – as recorded by contemporary poets like WH Auden, Wendy Cope, James Berry, John Betjeman, Jean Binta Breeze, PG Wodehouse, Carol Ann Duffy, Ted Hughes, Helen Dunmore, Douglas Dunn, Selima Hill, Sean O’Brien and Roger McGough.
Not Just a Game celebrates individual achievement and collective effort, personal satisfaction and public pride, superhuman endurance and skill exchanged for the rewards of immortality. From the first length to the final frame, the egg and spoon race to the Cup Final, from Jack Hobbs to Brian Clough, Centre Court to the Great North Run, Not Just a Game captures the tension and the laughter, the pain and the pleasure, and the blood, sweat and tears.
It’s not just a book for sports fans.
It’s not just a book for poetry lovers.
It’s not just a game
About the Author
Andy Croft has published six books of poetry, the latest being Comrade Laughter, and thirty-six books for teenagers, mostly about football. A former half-marathon runner, he was once Poet-in-Residence on the Great North Run. He still plays five-a-side football and is a season-ticket holder at Middlesbrough FC. Sue Dymoke's books include The New Girls (her first full poetry collection) and Drafting and Assessing Poetry. She lectures in education at the University of Leicester. She has been an ardent Chelsea FC supporter since the age of ten and is now an enthusiastic, but slow, swimmer.