Lend us your ears for our Confessions of an Ageing Football Player Podcasts!

That’s right, starting on 20 November we’ll be broadcasting every day via out Anchor Podcast episodes. You can listen to them here.

The podcasts will involve readings from the book, and will quite possibly involve some surprise guests!

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Out now! JIT for Qatar 2022! Confessions of an Ageing Football Player

73 – nil! Those were the days: moments of glory on the school playing field on a foggy Wednesday afternoon when the final whistle went and your school mates would gather around you, beaming their small faces at you from every conceivable direction as they congratulated you fulsomely on the 23 hat tricks you have just completed in your team’s undeniable slaughter of the opposition…

Confessions of an Ageing Footballer relives those glorious early footballing moments – but just in time for the Qatar 2022 World Cup!

Just what’s around that next corner? It’s behind you… book review of ‘Wild Guesses and Dreams’ by Rick Hoegberg.

In the years Before Covid, Before the Credit Crunch and even before Punk, there was the summer of 1973: the time when we young boys would skive off PE lessons, be oblivious to girls and the state of the nation and muse: what lies beyond Watford?

Fast forward through the next 50 years and whilst the names and faces, the times and places may differ from continent to continent and from generation to generation, what binds us all, wherever we are in our world, are the big existential questions we all face as we grow up: who am I? Where am I from? Where am I going?  What does my future hold?  What’s just around that corner?

Rick Hoegberg’s book, Wild Guesses and Dreams is set within the comforting rural and fading industrial landscapes of the British Canal system of the early 1970s.  It charts the unsteady courses that Rick and his chums navigate to answer these questions which they do by building a small cabin cruiser, Zehranadilla, and then setting out on various intrepid adventures, ostensibly to ask, what lies beyond Watford? 

Hoegberg retells many charming and alarming incidents from the voyages of Zehranadilla, and deftly paints what life was like in the not so fast lane for the lads and lasses in those halcyon 70s days when the oil crisis and national strikes were just whispers in the wind, to be given no more consideration than the question of where the next beer was coming from. 

But more than just a youthful travelogue revolving around copious underage drinking, nautical mechanical challenges and fending off hostile swans, the book also explores in its own wistful way how friendships grow and fade and how young people can develop agency and begin to control their own destiny in a world which is so easily disrupted by adults: whether they be well meaning parents, obsessively disciplinarian teachers or canal workers intent on doing no more, no less than their jobs are worth.

By now, we young people of Hoegberg’s generation are reaching the age – if we’ve survived – where we’re asking ourselves, what did we do with our time then? Did it enable us to find out who we were, where we were going and what was just around our corners? Or did we let those moments slip by, ignorant to the opportunities that life presented to us sometimes from the most unexpected directions?

A deceptively innocent exploration of the questions Hoegberg and his school chums asked of themselves in those BC times, Wild Guesses and Dreams prompts us all to understand our pasts better to ensure the young people we see growing up before us are better able to answer those questions for themselves. 

Our BC Years are soon turning into their LWC (Living with Covid) Years and they will all need all the help they can get to prepare for what’s behind them, in front of them and around those increasingly threatening corners.

Wild Guesses and Dreams is available on Amazon here.

This Courting Life: how to deal with the ‘L’ word

My next book, dear reader, builds on the stellar success of my first publication.

Where my first volume gave you invaluable instructions on how to win at Dumbledon, develop a personality and lead your local club to previously unimaginable heights, my second volume in what is shaping up to be a truly encyclopaedic compendium of skills, insights and wisdom from the outer reaches of the tennis universe, focuses on the even harder challenge: the second grand slam.

It also offers some seriously sought after advice  on perhaps the most elusive of all holy grails: the mysteries of the heart.

Philosophers have mused lyrical, musicians have waxed musically and scientists continue to try in vain to define the phenomenon of that thing that beats erratically under our Fred Perry singlets with their data, spreadsheets and formulae about the mysteries of the L word, but it is fair to say that none have come close to the experiences of the ageing tennis player.

There may be musical scientific philosophers who have applied the might of their unique knowledge to the L question but I am oblivious to them.

There is nothing quite like hearing about the experiences of the ageing tennis player when it comes to the L word and this book, dear reader, is guaranteed to transform your life (for the better) when it comes to assessing your prospects in the L department.

So, let’s continue our journey together with the immortal and prescient ‘Love All’.

Next stop: Melbourne!

The Courting Lives of an Ageing Tennis Player: meet the creative team

“Tennis belongs to the individualistic past – a hero, or at most a pair of friends or lovers, against the world.”  (Jacques Barzun)

What we’re raising funds for

Having successfully published our first book, Confessions of an Ageing Tennis Player in 2021, we are now following this up with the book’s sequel, The Courting Lives of an Ageing Tennis Player,  which follows the trials and tribulations, the dreams and delusions of the central character, Lord Andrew John Paul George Ringo Murray of Kirkintilloch.

We’re building on the successful creative collaboration with our illustrator, Paul Warren, and further develop our audiences and readers and build a series of ‘Confessions’ books which simultaneously entertain and provoke audiences across the world.

One day, we’d like to see the books cross over to film or television: and we’d love it if you were part of that journey!

But we need financial support to turn our text and images into a professionally designed and produced high quality, full colour paperback book, utilising the services of our designers, Creative Triangle and their printing team.  Financial support will also enable us to promote the book to existing and new audiences and help catapault the books into an exciting new future!

If you’d like to invest in the project, please visit our Kickstarter crowdfunding page here.

There are plenty of rewards available, whether you want to invest just a fiver or push the boat out and name the launch of the book after yourself or your loved ones!

The Courting Lives of an Ageing Tennis Player: launching on 1 February 2022

We’re delighted to let you know that the creative team that bought you Confessions of an Ageing Tennis Player will be launching the sequel on 1 February!

Get ready for The Courting Lives of an Ageing Tennis Player!

Court Life: GOATS on a plane

I awoke with a start. My flight to Melbourne was finally being called and the assembled herd of tennis goats who had been kicking around impatiently in the waiting lounge finally stirred their stumps and joined a ramshackle queue, nudging, snorting and shuffling their way forward, keen to get on the plane before anyone else.  Even off court, they could not resist the competitive urge to be first on board, first in their seats and first to order their free inflight Pimms.

“Let’s face it, nothing can substitute for just plain hard work. I had to put in the time to get back. And it was a grind,” complained Andre Agassi to Billie Jean King.  She nodded, sympathetically, kicking her tennis bag along the floor as the queue slowly shuffled forwards.

(More here…)

The Courting Lives of an Ageing Tennis Player: The Bird Sightings. The ‘Confessions’ Sports Player Series

In which tennis ornithologist, Mrs Hacienda Buscando Stanley Carter (aka Phoebe Snetsinger) first observes Lord A.J.P.G.R. Murray in the field and makes her first fatal mistake. #AusOpen2023 #AndyMurray #PhoebeSnetsinger #LiverpoolTennisClub #SerenaWilliams You can read all about the prequel to this story Confessions of an Ageing Tennis Player here. Or you can order your copy of The Courting Lives of an Ageing Tennis Player here.
  1. The Courting Lives of an Ageing Tennis Player: The Bird Sightings.
  2. The Courting Lives of an Ageing Tennis Player: Episode 15 – Bird Sighting 5
  3. The Courting Lives of an Ageing Tennis Player: Chapter 14 – Bird Sighting 4.
  4. The Courting Lives of an Ageing Tennis Player: Chapter 13 – Bird Sighting 3.
  5. The Courting Lives of an Ageing Tennis Player: Chapter 12 – Bird Sighting 2.

Court Life: one trial, many tribulations

In which the youngest in society are taught that that if they have malice enough to set fire to people’s tennis rackets, headbands and shoes, then their own lives must pay the forfeit.

Court Life: the best of enemies, the best of friends?

Continued from Court Life: it’s No Vacc for Novak!

Noli’s disingenuous claim that somehow our long-standing animosity could be interpreted as amiability grated all the way to the airport.  Ever since we had encountered each other across the net of Wimbledon’s Centre Court all those months ago, he had never fully come to terms with how his game fell apart on that fateful Sunday afternoon in sunny SW19.   He had been up by a set and a break but then it all unravelled.

“Terrible. I feel terrible.” He was heard gasping as he stumbled off court whilst I basked in the affection of the world’s press and its pooches.

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Court Life: it’s No Vacc for Novak!

Continued from Court Life: 100 Days

I am used to waiting.  I have waited a lot in the years leading up to my inauguration as Chairman of the club so am no stranger to the waiting game.  But after five hours of being perched on my head honcho cushion, without seeing a tremble of my tepee curtain became, as you can imagine, dear reader, a tad irksome.

Where are my people and why are they are taking so long? I muttered to myself as I perambulated around an ever decreasing circle on the floor of my teepee.  Do they not realise who has called them?  Do they not realise who I am?  Do they not know what is at stake?

Just at the moment I had come to the centre of my tepee with no-where else to perambulate, my mobile phone rang.  At last I thought, they have finally seen sense and are going to ingratiate themselves with their grovelling apologies.

“Hello!”  I snapped. “What’s taking you?  We have a lot of business ahead of us!  Setting up a a brand new regime doesn’t happen just by itself you know.”

Read more here…

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