The Substantive is a platform for new, independent writing on popular culture.
The first e-book it has published is by The Substantive columnist Mel Gomes, ‘Glory Nights: From Wankdorf to Wembley‘.
With echoes of Glory from American Cinema to Bruce Springsteen, and full of the flavour of Escape that European Travel brings, it covers a journey over land and sea in the 2010-11 Champions League.
All the way through Tottenham Hotspur’s return to the European Cup after an absence of 49 Seasons, on to an epic series of El Clasicsos, and then to a front-row seat at the Final at Wembley as Barcelona’s new dream team beat Manachester United in a landmark performance in football’s rich history, it documents the experience of Sport at the highest level in a competition overshadowed by money.
It contains recollections of matches including past Milan Derbies, a comeback at Arsenal, a thrilling win at Manchester City and Diego Maradona’s one appearance at White Hart Lane, as well as anecdotes of stolen tickets, random encounters with former players and lost passports. The Epilogue was written a day after Chelsea beat Bayern Munich in 2012, reflecting on a season which was ultimately unsuccessful for both Spurs and Barcelona.
Reviewed by the website Tottenham on my Mind, the book is described as “a labour of love” that “invokes memories of those glory glory nights that raise goosepimples at the thrill of it all.” The popular Spurs blog Dear Mr Levy said in its review “Mel brings back the memory of those games and in doing so, a rush of blood to the head. What the book also captures wonderfully well is the characteristics of the away trip and the variety of headaches and laughs that accompany each one without fail. Mel takes in the culture and the atmosphere without ego”.
In his review, author Martin Cloake said it was “an essential read for any Spurs fan”, while a customer review on Amazon describes it as a “fast paced & excellently in-depth book” that is “a sure fire hit for football fans in general”.
It is available to preview for free and buy for less than the price of a Spurs Champions League Football programme from Amazon (for Kindles) and Smashwords (for all other formats, including for i-pads, Apple, Sony and Palm mobile devices, as a PDF and as a web page).
Some photos Mel took on the journey are below.
‘Glory Nights: From Wankdorf to Wembley’ is available from Amazon (for Kindles) and Smashwords (for all other formats, including for i-pads, Apple, Sony and Palm mobile devices, as a PDFs and as a web page).