by Dave Roberts
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When Dave Roberts relocates to the USA, his wife informs him that they can only take what is 'absolutely essential'. Packing his collection of football programmes (1,134 of them - football fans are sticklers for statistics), Dave is aghast to be informed that the programmes do not fall into that category. He must whittle down his treasured archive to only what will fit inside a Tupperware container the size of a Dan Brown hardback.
32 Programmes tells the story of how Dave made the selection of his most important programmes, and how the process brought back a flood of nostalgia for simpler times. As the sights, sounds and smells of those 1,134 football matches return, the choices Dave makes reflect the twists and turns that life takes. Finally, with just hours to go before the flight, the container is full to the brim. One more programme will be added to the collection - one that Dave never thought he would see and which means more to him than any other.
32 Programmes is the story of youthful football obsession, crushes on disinterested girls, rubbish jobs and trying to impress skinheads. But most of all, it is the story of a man's life and loves, of family, friends and football.
- Transworld, August 2011
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