Archive for June, 2014

The Pride of all Europe now has its own page on Goodreads. Check it out here: (And give it some stars please!)


My short story Deep Clean has been published by Headstuff today. The story carries with it some brilliant original artwork by Matt Mahon.

You can read the story here:


panini-america-2014-fifa-world-cup-brazil-sticker-teaser-20Yesterday brought the conclusion to the group stages of the World Cup in Brazil. And I thought now would be a good time to revisit my World Cup Paul the Octopus predictions – – to see how I’d got on… And my conclusion is that I’m not a very good pundit.

poteI should just stick to sportswriting… (This allows me to crowbar in a link to my NEW BOOK ‘The Pride of All Europe: Manchester United’s Greatest Seasons in the European Cup’. Did I tell you it was out now?!?)

Because I am obsessed by lists and numbers and scores, I decided to award myself 1 point for every correct result – i.e. a win for either side or a draw – and 3 points for an exact scoreline. Which was a little ambitious perhaps.

One thing I did predict was the complete and utter meltdown of one Luis Suarez. You’ll have read all the Dracula/ Transylvania/ teeth jokes by now, so I won’t burden you with any more. But as you can see from my write-ups of the Uruguay games throughout my made-up tournament, I was able to forsee Suarez’s lunacy before it happened…

Mind you, so was everyone else.

Anyway, on to the predos.

Group A saw me pick up a meagre 3 points, based on my correctly predicting the results of the Brazil v Croatia, Cameroon v Croatia, and Cameroon v Brazil matches.

Group B saw me completely jump the shark. I completely missed Spain’s fantastic flop, which saw me struggling from the start. But then again, I picked up points in both of the Netherlands following matches – v Australia and v Chile – and indeed, I was even able to predict the scoreline of the Australia v Spain game at Arena da Baixada, Curitiba, which secured me my first full 3pts. In total, I scored 6 points.

I got off to just as poor a start in Group C, before I stuck some new batteries in my crystal ball and got the Colombia v Ivory Coast scoreline bang-on, securing me a second full 3pts. They were the only points I picked up in the group.

England featured in Group D, and I predicted they’d fall at the first hurdle… But not as shambolically as they did. And I certainly did not see Costa Rica as the dark horses of the group. So they mucked up nearly all my scoring. I got an embarrassing NIL POINTS in this group.

In Group E, I was sure France would walk it, but not to the extent they actually did. I picked up points for predicting the results of the Switzerland v France, Honduras v Ecuador, and Ecuador v France games, netting me a total of 3pts.

And by Group F, you’re getting bored, but I’ll plough relentlessly on because I got the Argentina v Bosnia-Hercegovina scoreline exactly right, scoring another full 3pts, before also netting points from the Argentina v Iran, and Bosnia-Hercegovina v Iran matches. In this group I scored a total of 5pts.

Group G made me stumble too. I correctly predicted the results of the Germany v Portugal, Ghana v United States, United States v Germany, and Portugal v Ghana games, netting me 4pts… but I was sure Ronaldo and Portugal would progress, and they didn’t…

Finally, Group H – I netted points for the Belgium v Algeria game and then a full three points for Belgium v Russia, but that was my lot: 4pts.

All in all I correctly predicted the scoreline in four games, and the result in twenty. Less than half.

And in my World Cup, I predicted the following would be the make-up of the Round of 16:

BRAZIL v NETHERLANDS; (its actually Brazil – Chile)
SPAIN v CROATIA; (Utterly wrong)
ITALY v JAPAN; (Couldn’t be wronger)
FRANCE v BOSNIA; (It’s actually France-Nigeria)
GERMANY v RUSSIA; (Nearly: its Germany-Algeria)
ARGENTINA v ECUADOR; (Nearly: it’s Argentina-Switzerland)
BELGIUM v PORTUGAL; (Nope – Belguim-USA)

Anyway, that’s your lot. Thanks for reading.


poteFollowing its release yesterday, my sports book The Pride of All Europe is already making an impact on the Amazon charts. It is currently no.2 in the Amazon Football/ Champions League charts and continues to climb.

I’d like to thank everyone who has already purchased the book, and I’d like to encourage you all to recommend it to your friends.

It’s available to purchase from here:

And you can ‘like’ it on Facebook here:


poteMy new sports book, the follow-up to the exceptionally well-received Fergie’s Finest, was released today by my publishers Endeavour Press. The Pride of All Europe: Manchester United’s Greatest Seasons in the European Cup is now available as an ebook now, and the paperback is coming soon.

‘Like’ the Facebook fan page in order to find out all the latest news, views, and opinions of the book, as well as some exclusive special offers and competitions.

Or follow the latest feeds on my Twitter page here: @ajkirbyauthor


Manchester_United_EuropeManchester United was the first English team to make the foray into the European Cup, participating in the tournament despite the express disapproval of the Football League.

They were also the first English winners of the trophy.

Over the years, United’s European adventures have spanned tragedy – the 1958 Munich Air Disaster – and triumph – three European Cup wins – and have provided no shortage of memorable stories.

Despite United being only the eighth most successful club in the competition’s history, the United name is irrevocably linked to the European Cup.

This book explores the reasons why.

With interviews from fans, personal anecdotes and excerpts from football archives, this book looks back at the history of the club and their greatest – and worst – moments.

‘The Pride of All Europe’ celebrates Manchester United’s triumphs in European football, concentrating on ten key stories from the twenty-five seasons and six decades the club has participated in the Europe’s premier competition, interspersed with brief, first-hand fan accounts of those fabled United “Euroaways.”

In this detailed study, Andrew Kirby dissects the rich history of Manchester United in Europe.

This is the one book that every true Manchester United fan ought to read.

Praise for Andrew Kirby:

‘A brilliant look at the finest players we’ve seen during Fergie’s reign, and indeed, the club’s entire history. A must read for any red.’ Scott the Red, Editor: Republik of Mancunia United Blog

‘As a Manchester United fan I found it really interesting and the author knows his stuff. I recommend reading it.’ – Angela Bowman, Manchester United fan

‘This book takes an intelligent, thorough and witty look at the players who served Fergie during his reign at Man United. The perfect gift for the red devil in your life! Sam Sharp, Manchester United fan

‘I definitely recommend this to anybody interested in football in general and Manchester United in particular. Buy it now!’ – Michael Hopkins, Manchester United fan

Andrew J Kirby’s sports writing has featured in BBC Sport magazine, and on the Radio Five Live website. He has held a Manchester United season ticket for the entirety of the Sir Alex Ferguson reign at Old Trafford, and regularly follows the Reds across Europe and beyond. He is also the author of ‘Fergie’s Finest’.

He also writes award-winning crime fiction as AJ Kirby, and has published five novels including Sharkways and Paint This Town Red, which was shortlisted for the Guardian’s Not the Booker Prize 2012.

Endeavour Press is the UK’s leading independent publisher of digital books.

Part III of my serialised short, ‘Cow and Calf’ is now live on The State of the Arts website. You can read it online here now.


c and c part III