Finn McCool's Football Club The Birth, Death, and Resurrection of a Pub Soccer Team in the City of the Dead By Stephen Rea
In 2004, Belfast-born Stephen Rea moved to New Orleans, a city where "football" means something entirely different than what it does back home. After struggling to find a place to watch European soccer games, Rea discovered Finn McCool's pub and its mixed clientele of good-humored European ex-pats, charismatic New Orleanians, and assorted matchless personalities. Before long he was playing on the pub's motley over-thirty-five fledgling soccer team. Gathered at the bar on August 27, 2005, members of the team were discussing their upcoming match, untroubled by the impending storm and unknowing that their city and team would nearly be obliterated by Hurricane Katrina in a matter of hours. Days later, the lucky among them were scattered across the country; the others struggled to survive as they awaited rescue in New Orleans. With clarity and compassion, Rea examines the disaster as he profiles the experiences of his teammates and their efforts to resurrect the team and pub that had become so central in all of their lives. A gripping and moving memoir about an unusual pub team and a devastating natural disaster, Finn McCool’s Football Club is a celebration of ex-pats and pubs, soccer and sportsmanship, and the strength it takes to rebuild a team, a city, and a life.
TitleFinn McCool's Football Club
SubtitleThe Birth, Death, and Resurrection of a Pub Soccer Team in the City of the Dead
AuthorBy Stephen Rea
PublisherSkyhorse Publishing
ImprintSkyhorse Publishing
Published27 June 2017
Dimensions6.00 x 9.00in.
Illustrations20 color photos.

“An uplifting account of friendship, football and overcoming the odds in the face of tragedy. Stephen Rea has scored an impressive winner.” – Derek Rae, senior UEFA Champions League commentator, ESPN

“Funny, touching, troubling and ultimately inspiring story about a crew of colorful characters… who bond at a gritty Irish pub in New Orleans to watch English matches and form an amateur squad that is shattered by Hurricane Katrina.” – Steven Goff, Washington Post

“Given the growing number of books about American soccer fans trapped in a country that doesn’t value or even understand their sport, Rea’s take… adds an enjoyably different perspective. Rea is an agreeable chronicler, and his blend of comedy, tragedy, and social observation moves briskly...Rea’s thoughts on the pains and pleasures of globalism’s diaspora, and the horrors of Katrina and its aftermath, make worthwhile reading.” – Keir Graff, Booklist Online

“Great story about real characters bonded by a passion for football and life.” – Stephen Nicol, ESPN commentator

“This book is hardly just about soccer. It’s about New Orleans through an Irishman’s eyes, an amalgamation of stories and experiences.” – Angus Lind, columnist, New Orleans Times-Picayune

“Stephen Rea uses one of the worst natural disasters in U.S. history as the backdrop for a love story – not your average love story either, as it’s also the love of a city, the ties that bind friends, and the passion for a sport. Soccer brings fans from around the globe together and that has never been proven more true than in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Rea’s book brings one of the biggest stories of the century down to a touching, emotional, personal level in a solid debut effort.” – Phil Schoen, GolTV commentator

Stephen Rea’s gripping tale of how he and his New Orleanian band of futbol player/friends survived Hurricane Katrina and regrouped is a study in tenacity… Sports lovers, particularly those who dig soccer, can find plenty of action within the pages, as well. This is a book for fans of New Orleans, of the universal ball game, of ex-pats and of pubs. Score 10-nil for Rea and the McCools.” – The Irish American Post

“Finn McCool’s Football Club is a must-read for soccer fans. The grit and determination displayed by these lads in the face of disaster was amazing. Their spirit and never-say-die attitude is captivating. When the history of soccer is written in the U.S., I hope the players, management, and fans of the Finn McCool’s club will get proper recognition for the major role they were able to play in promoting ‘the Beautiful Game.’” – Tommy Smyth, “the Auld Onion Bag Man,” ESPN commentator

“A powerful and often haunting account, which shows how, in the wake of disaster, the friendships formed by football were all that some survivors had left.” – Jon Spurling, 4-star review, FourFourTwo magazine

“The tale of their quest for football glory and the transplantation of neighborhood football clubs from across the pond has been perfectly told in a fine book written by Irish New Orleanian Stephen Rea...Rea, from Belfast, brings to the table an Irish lyricism, intricate wordplay, occasional gravitas and excellent humor, ultimately producing an extremely readable book that is a snapshot of our city’s times.” – Paul Wegmann, New Orleans Living magazine

“The book follows the team as they cope with the hurricane and its aftermath, and rejoices in the unlikely return of Rea, the club, its members, the pub, and the city itself… The book is an unlikely success story set in an unlikely city.” – New Orleans Review

“As the best sports writing can be, Finn McCools’s is so much more than a book about just a game … it is in the face of what was surely one of the most difficult experiences imaginable that Rea is able to write so powerfully about the importance of family, friendship and football… With his debut Stephen Rea has written a work of literature well worth reading.” –Patrick Thurston, 90 Minutes magazine

“New Orleans is not a place you immediately associate with the beautiful game, nevertheless, the Big Easy is responsible for one of the best books about soccer ever to emerge from this side of the pond… Rea’s account of his experiences forming a pub team and living through Hurricane Katrina with his teammates is a must read for all soccer fans. Anyone who has ran away to America and joined a pub football team will identify with the humor and passion of this incredible story” – David Witchard, First Touch Magazine

“Rea… shares footballers’ stories with realistic details and colorful quotes… More to the point, Rea holds up Finn’s as a model of post-Katrina community spirit.” – Leigh Ann Stuart, New Orleans magazine

“A classic Irish story… Author Stephen Rea has scored a major hit with this book… A must-read book.” – Mark Stokes, The Irish Emigrant
ISBNs: 9781510715080 978-1-5107-1508-0 Title: finn mccools football club category:SPO ISBNs: 9781510715097 978-1-5107-1509-7 Title: finn mccools football club category:SPO 
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