Black Diamonds & the Blue Brazil
A Chronicle of Coal, Cowdenbeath and Football
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21 years after its publication, a new edition is being published with updated text and new chapters as well as a new Introduction, written by one of the book's many fans and the biggest name in British football, Sir Alex Ferguson.
But this is a book about much, much more than football. It is loved not only by Sir Alex but also by Gordon Brown, Alistair Campbell, Ian Rankin and the Rev Kathy Galloway and it was a huge favourite of poet, George Mackay Brown. So why have the trials and tribulations of Cowdenbeath football club - one of the most unsuccessful football clubs in Britain - excited the imagination even of those who have no interest in football and who have never been to Cowdenbeath?
Cowdenbeath's story is set against the rise and decline of the local mining industry and the life after mining. It is very funny, deeply spiritual, moving and also a little bit political. But what makes it so interesting to so many groups is the uplifting story of a real community spirit throughout all of the ups and downs of a town and a football club that is at its social heart and core. It is also the most autobiographical book that Ron Ferguson has written, never taking himself very seriously.
Long out of print, this is the new and updated 21st-anniversary edition.
"Black Diamonds & the Blue Brazil is a terrific read." Sir Alex Ferguson
"Black Diamonds is a tale of triumph, of love over logic. The reaction has been ecstatic. Diamonds is fast becoming a cult classic." The Observer
"Every now and again, perhaps once every five years, a book is published which captures the elusive essence of the game of football...Black Diamonds and the Blue Brazil can stand comparison with the very best of football writing." Scottish Football Historian
"Wonderfully written stuff, with a pawky humour that keeps the story bubbling along and the reader in rapt anticipation of the next delicious revelation...It's a wonderful read for a cold autumn weekend." John Maxwell, The Glasgow Herald
"Ron Ferguson's book is not only the story of a triumphantly doomed football club, but the sad and funny chronicle of Cowdenbeath itself." Kenneth Roy, Scotland on Sunday
"All the local stories that Ron Ferguson brought together in Black Diamonds and the Blue Brazil are themselves part of the richness of the decades of community life we celebrate." Rt Hon Gordon Brown, MP
"What I had not expected was to put this book down and for the first time in my life, feel a desire to actually go and watch a game of football." The Rev Kathy Galloway, The Coracle
"Stephen Fry once said of satirist Peter Cook that he was 'the funniest man who ever drew breath'. There's little doubt in my mind that Ron Ferguson is currently the funniest man drawing breath in Scotland. He may even be the funniest man ever to have emerged (unscathed) from Cowdenbeath...'Football and Fife, from a man who knows the struggles both have been through - pure dead brilliant' Ian Rankin
"Black Diamonds is a powerful social commentary. And, clearly, its creation was a labour of love" Alan Hutchison, The Scotsman
"Black Diamonds and the Blue Brazil is the work of a true craftsman in literature. I recommend it to the many readers who have never seen a football kicked in their lives. It certainly deserves to be a bestseller." George Mackay Brown
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