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Match Fixer by Neil Humphreys

I got an email from a fellow Hammer today who wanted to make me aware of his new fictional book about the Hammers, Match Fixer.  I've not had a chance to read it yet but it sounds like great fun, I'll let the author, Neil Humphreys, introduce himself and the book to you all….

Neil Humphreys: 

I grew up in Dagenham, which meant you had to be a West Ham fan or they lined you up against the changing room wall at Parsloes Park and shot you. Besides, my dad was a West fan so he would've shot me (even though he only became a West Ham supporter when, as a little kid, he wandered into Bobby Moore's sports shop in Green Street and Bobby Moore said: "you should support West Ham, mate". So my Dad sheepishly replied, " all right, Bobby" and he did. True story.)

The first game I saw, apparently, was a 3-1 victory over Bolton Wanderers in the 1980-81 season where Trevor Brooking either scored or played well. I can;t remember, but that's what my dad tells me. The first game I actually remember was a 3-1 defeat in 1987 to Charlton, I think. West Ham were terrible. The most recent game I saw was when I was back in London for the launch of Match Fixer recently. It was a home 0-0 draw against Blackburn Rovers. West Ham were terrible. Nothing has changed.

There were a few highlights inbetween. West Ham's League Cup run in the early 1990s led by Julian Dicks' left foot who seemed to be smashing them in from Green Street. Stuart Slater taking Everton apart in the FA Cup and then the surreal "Billy Bonds' claret and blue Army" party at Villa Park. We lost the FA Cup semi-final 4-0 to Forest. Galey was infairly sent off. West Ham never looked liked winning with 10 men. And we sang from the first minute to the last, carrying the players off shoulder high. Still the greatest game I've ever been to. And we lost 4-0. Ian Bishop still talks about that game. And we lost 4-0. Fortunes always hiding, but still we keep coming back.

On my travels all over the place (10 years in Singapore and Asia, 3 years in Australia), I wrote five books, which did well in Asia (see here: www.neilhumphreys.net) But I'd always wanted to write a book that somehow included West Ham, Dagenham, Trevor Brooking, Julian Dicks, Oasis, Singapore, Australia and a little bit of sex, drugs and rock n roll. Believe it or not, Match Fixer allowed me to include all of that, legitimately. I had been a football writer in Singapore and had covered a few real seedy, juicy cases of match-fixing, corruption and footballers being beaten up by bookies. So I decided to put the lot together, fictionalise it and call the book Match Fixer.

Match Fixer is the only book (and will probably remain the only book) that tells the story about a West Ham academy striker, born in Dagenham, who plays with Carlos Tevez, then takes his boots around the world and gets caught up in an exotic Asian world of sex, drugs, football gambling, gangsters and rock n roll.

That's essentially what Match Fixer is about. They'll never be another West Ham book like it.

Here's a picture of the author outside Upton Park with a copy his novel;

Match_fixer_world_cup_big

If you are intersted in the book, you can get hold of it from Amazon: Match Fixer

Best of luck to Neil with the book….

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