The U.K.-based Guardian newspaper has a thriving books section and maintains its own bookstore for its publishing wing. Readers might be surprised to discover that the most popular book is about soccer, entitled I Am the Secret Footballer.
The author, writing anonymously, is a professional soccer player in the twilight of his career who tells-all about his rise up the ranks of soccer in England, his excessive spending, and a lot about the WAGs (Wives and Girlfriends), including some juicy tidbits about sex in swimming pools and infidelity. The more tender moments of the story relate to the author’s crippling depression and his criticisms of how fame corrupts relationships.
The Guardian has ingeniously published a video of the secret footballer juggling in full spandex and a hoodie, but the clip gives away a little bit (juggling styles are very personal, and anyway some fans suspect he is midfielder Jimmy Bullard.) It is a brilliant marketing ploy.
Much of the story has been written about before in other sports, but here is a tasty morsel for the writing world: the author is considering writing novels. While we haven’t been dazzled by his prose, it’s worth watching the shelves. Anthony Bourdain’s bold forays into writing and graphic novels prove that anything is possible, right?