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fever pitched

It’s always fun to be in on a phenomenon at the beginning – before everyone is talking about it.

20 years ago, I learned about Nick Hornby’s ‘Fever Pitch’ via a report on BBC2’s ‘Newsnight.’

It sounded like my perfect book – a memoir chronicling one man’s obsession with football and its influence on his life.

Of course, it has become much more than that over the years.

So here we are today celebrating two decades since the book appeared with a special programme on Radio 4.

Fever Pitched: 20 Years On – BBC iPlayer

Inspired by the ‘Newsnight’ report, which I seem to remember involved Hornby visiting his beloved Highbury and reading extracts, I went out and bought a copy – in hardback with its striking cover.

Then when the paperback edition first appeared, Hornby did a reading and book signing in Manchester.

So I asked him to sign my hardback copy, bought a paperback for my brother, and we talked about the cover.

Who was the small boy in the Arsenal shirt, I wondered?

He told me that frustratingly he had yet to trace him or the photographer.

Reading a 2011 blogpost by Hornby, that remains the case. Tantalising.

A few years back, I discovered that my signed first edition ‘Fever Pitch’ was worth a few bob.

In the end, I sold it through a London auction house for – £220.

Now on the 20th anniversary, I regret that I can’t flick through my original copy of the book again and relive all those memories of what is a classic.

Nick Hornby – official website

As Hornby loves his music, it seems appropriate to check out what was in the charts 20 years ago.

I’ll spare you Shakespears Sister doing ‘Stay,’ which was in the middle of a long stay at number 1.

And instead we can enjoy the delights of Crowded House – about to enter the top 10 in March 1992 – with this crowd pleaser.

Crowded House – Weather With You (Live)

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