PRINT October 1996


Louisa Buck from London

IF TRADITIONALLY CRICKET HAS BEEN the game of the elite, and football strictly for the lumpen masses, all that’s changed now. These days, in order to have any cultural credibility within the U.K., it’s almost mandatory to be a football fan. It all began when Bill Buford—then editor of the literary magazine Granta, now fiction editor of The New Yorker—published a runaway best-seller chronicling British soccer’s hooligan element. Since then football frenzy has swept through the intellectual life of the U.K.—even Salman Rushdie has come out as a Tottenham Hotspur fan.

With England hosting the European Football Championships last June—for the first time in 30 years—this craze reached unparalleled heights, even spilling over into the art world. Manchester was designated the City of Soccer (even the IRA bomb that ripped out the city center didn’t prevent the quarter final between Germany and

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