A fascinating insight into the enclosed world of football scouts in the UK
A teenaged boy plays football in a suburban park. His name is Raheem Sterling. The call is made: “Get down here quick. This is something special”.
Another boy is 8, going on 28. His name is Jack Wilshere. The referee, an Arsenal scout, spirits him away from Luton Town.
A young goalkeeper struggles on loan at Cheltenham Town in League Two. His name is Jack Butland. Within months he will be playing for England.
Welcome to football’s hidden tribe. Scouts are everywhere yet nowhere, faceless and nameless, despite making the informed decisions worth millions. Award-winning sportswriter Michael Calvin opens up their hidden world, examining their disconnected lifestyles, petty betrayals and unconsidered professionalism of men who spend long, lonely hours on the road.
The Things They Carried won France's prestigious Prix du Meilleur Livre Etranger and the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize; it was also a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award.