SB #7: Quotes Compiled By One Of Our Contributors, Ben, On Football



‘All I know most surely about morality and obligations, I owe to football.’ – Albert Camus

‘Suppose one man likes strawberries and another does not; in what respect is the latter superior? There is no abstract and impersonal proof either that strawberries are good or that they are not good. To the man who likes them they are good, to the man who dislikes them they are not. But the man who likes them has a pleasure which the other does not have; to that extent his life is more enjoyable and he is better adapted to the world in which both must live. What is true in this trivial instance is equally true in more important matters. The man who enjoys watching football is to that extent superior to the man who does not.’ – Bertrand Russell

‘I find a lot of what footballers say is poignant and beautiful. Perhaps I am alone in this.’ – Kazuo Ishiguro

‘The imagined community of millions seems more real as a team of eleven named people.’ – Eric Hobsbawm

‘My first journey into real life was the discovery of football.’ – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
‘To say that these men paid their shillings to watch twenty-two hirelings kick a ball is merely to say that a violin is wood and catgut, that Hamlet is so much paper and ink. For a shilling Bruddersford United AFC offered you conflict and art.’ – J. B. Priestley

‘Five days shalt thou labour, as the Bible says. The seventh day is the Lord thy God’s. The sixth day is for football.’ – Anthony Burgess

‘I fell in love with football as I was later to fall in love with women. Suddenly, uncritically, giving no thought to the pain it would bring.’ – Nick Nornby

‘The game replaces sexual enjoyment by pleasure in movement, and forces sexual activity back to one of its auto-erotic components.’ – Sigmund Freud

‘We played until it was dark. I dreamt of becoming a professional footballer.’ – Jacques Derrida


‘Everything has a reason, except possibly football.’ – Terry Pratchett

‘I never cared in the least which team won, but only prayed for the game to be over without the ball ever coming my way.’ – John Mortimer

‘Football is a game for rough girls, not suitable for delicate boys.’ – Oscar Wilde
‘Either you like kicking and being kicked, or your soul cringes away from the whole affair. There’s no way of quietly enjoying rugby football.’ – Martin Amis

‘Football, a game in which everyone gets hurt and every nation has its own style of play which seems unfair to foreigners  There are quite enough real causes of trouble already, and we need not add to them by encouraging young men to kick each other on the shins amid the roar of infuriated spectators.’ – George Orwell

‘For the most part, football these days is the opium of the people, not to speak of their crack cocaine. Its icon is the impeccably Tory, slavishly conformist Beckham. Nobody serious about political change can shirk the fact that the game has to be abolished.’ – Terry Eagleton


‘Used well sport can teach endurance and courage, a sense of fair play and a respect for rules, co-ordinated effort and the subordination of personal interests to those of the group. Used badly, it can encourage personal vanity and group vanity, greedy desire for victory and hatred of rivals, an intolerant espirit de corps and contempt for people.’ – Aldous Huxley

compiled by Benjamin George Coles


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