The latest book by Michael Chaplin at times verges on a summary of our own personal back pages,
evoking many familiar emotions and memories of happier times past.
They range from sheer scale of SJP when encountered through childhood eyes to our own personal
darkest hour and a half (Southend away, January 1 1992) and even the infamous ball tampering
antics of one Vincent Jones esq.
The son of noted writer Sid Chaplin and a successful playwright and author,
Michael recalls the life of a long-suffering black and white devotee across six
From childhood experiences of moving to Tyneside, via years as a long-distance
fan to one now rooting for them from afar for different reasons, it's a life obsession without parole.
As he himself puts it, "these are postcards of the past from my younger selves, describing not just
a match, but also the club, the city of Newcastle, my family and work, as well as the person who was
six years old at the outset but is now staring at the imminent arrival of the three score years and ten."
(The cover artwork "Man with Scarf" is by renowned artist Norman
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Biffa's mini-review of the book:
Not just evocative and informative, this book is essential.
Life, the universe and everything – through black and white eyes.
Triumph, tragedy, misfortune, ineptitude.
Newcastle United. This is our life.