DUGOUTS by David Bauckham (New Holland Publishers, 2006)


To most people the football dugout is a place where managers and substitutes sit during the course of a game. To the football grounds enthusiast it is much more as this new book illustrates. Dugouts is a truly fascinating adventure into the world of grass-roots football. This publication is a welcome addition to any Groundhopper’s bookshelf and will inspire many a fan to embark on a new journey.


The author, David Bauckham, celebrates our obsessive hobby with a unique collection of breathtaking images taken from a number of Non-League clubs throughout the country. The result is one of pure genius. This book features real places where the quirky yet more humble dugouts have a charm often lacking in the functional, characterless, plastic structures of the rich and famous. Some truly architectural gems are unearthed!!


The presentation and layout is clear, succinct and totally unpretentious. It features one dugout per page regardless of status. A brief description accompanies each picture and the reader shares a real sense of being there. The landscape and architecture create distinctive backdrops. For instance, just look at the Norman Cathedral behind the brick-built dugout at Ely City; the sea-view at Lyme Regis FC and the rolling hills across the Sussex Downs at Peacehaven and Telscombe. Who would not fall in love with the old house close to the touchline at Stanley United FC? The garden sheds are in there too – some decorated in the club’s colours, some not. Each one transforms many a roped-off field with its own construction, idiosyncratic detail and local history.


This book, endorsed by Football Grounds Guru Simon Inglis, is a labour of love. Not just intended to appeal to the ‘anorak’, it also provides a tongue-in-cheek insight into our beautiful game. I am sure that all visitors to Football Grounds in Focus will find the content totally absorbing making it an ideal reference and travelling companion.


I can thoroughly recommend it. You don’t have to be ‘hopping mad or mad on ‘hopping – this book is definitely for everyone!!


Dugouts (by New Holland Publishers (UK) Ltd, London), priced £7.99 hardback, is available from all good bookshops, online booksellers and by mail order from LBS on 01903 828503.