Pat Nevin: Football And How To Survive It

Reviewed by K Lang

It is not every day that someone becomes an accidental Footballer and Pat Nevin tells us how he Survived Football, along with all the other struggles during his time at Tranmere, Kilmarnock. Then he becomes both chief executive and player of Motherwell FC. With some it is deep topics and good storytelling Pat Nevin does well in explaining the life of a footballer but does fall short in other parts.

Football is a hard sport and making it your life can’t be easy. In this talk and the book however, it’s more about the people, rather than the game itself, and Pat Nevin gives us a strong intro, which set the talk up well, and made me curious on what was to happen next. With some funny moments, the even really had its’ charm and it held onto that throughout. Nevin was good at the storytelling aspect of it, with some mimics of his Tranmere boss, that were amazing, and some short stories that really got the crowd going. Recapping the previous book, first-timers were sure to understand what was going on, and I think this book is for more than just Football fans, with a wider audience that would understand; or relate to some of the deeper meanings in the book. It was very interesting, and everyone sure had a good time.

Although there was a strong intro, I hold onto my opinion that the sponsors should be mentioned at the end, so the intro and the whole talk could begin better and have a sharper start that would immediately attract people to the book. It was slightly repetitive, with some things being said too much, like about the game being beautiful, which I am not saying it isn’t, but saying it over and over is not the best, especially as they skipped the Kilmarnock section which made it a less thorough telling of the book. With slightly too much side stories, if they reduced those and focussed on making a section on Kilmarnock, it would have been better.

In the end, Pat Nevin and Football and How to Survive it is a deep, interesting memoir, that shows that you need to follow your dreams, and if you are having fun that’s all that matters, you don’t have to become a professional and that’s ok. It’s well worth the read, and I’m sure many football fans and others will love it, with a great unlikely story showing that football is amazing, and you should follow your heart, if you love football, that’s all that matters.