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Guardian’s Football Weekly to release its first book

The Guardian’s Football Weekly is releasing its first book and has announced a second season of live tour dates across England and Ireland with six shows, in five cities.

Guardian’s Football Weekly to release its first book
Max Rushden: “I wasn't sure this book was going to be any good, but I didn't want to not be involved in case it was.”

The Guardian has announced that its Football Weekly podcast is releasing its very first book, imaginatively named The Football Weekly Book. Following popular demand, hosts Max Rushden, Barry Glendenning and guests will also return for a second run of the podcast's live tour across England and Ireland, added the publisher.

The Guardian says the Football Weekly Book, available now for pre-order at the Guardian Bookshop and all good bookstores, will be released on Thursday 28 September. Featuring their trademark wisdom, humour and analysis the book has been edited by sports journalist and Football Weekly regular Jonathan Wilson, with hosts Max and Barry as consulting editors. Shunning modern AI technology, the Football Weekly book is illustrated by real human, Guardian football cartoonist, David Squires.

After 17 years of success in audio, the book sees a debut for the boys in paper format, in a book that contains all the usual nonsense jokes, trivia and unparalleled analysis that draws in millions of listeners every month. As a bonus, readers will also find Max and Barry declaring their love for one another on a Guardian Blind Date, added the publisher.

Extra material can be expected with contributions from regular podcast guests and Guardian football experts including Barney Ronay, Ben Fisher, David Squires, Elis James, John Brewin, Jonathan Liew, Jordan Jarrett-Bryan, Nedum Onuoha, Nicky Bandini and Suzy Wrack.

The publisher says you can hear Jonathan, Max and Barry in conversation with journalist and football commentator Robyn Cowen, talking more about the book and why fans need to add it to their collection in a special livestream event on Tuesday 26 September, 8pm to 9pm (BST). More information on this event and tickets can be found here.

Having shunned big money offers to move to Saudi Arabia, the Football Weekly live tour is remaining in the UK, says the Guardian. This November, fans can find Max, Barry and a host of regular Football Weekly favourites in five cities across England and Ireland.

Each show will feature the podcast’s unique take on the world of football, in addition to opportunities for the audience to get involved in the antics, special guests and stories too risky for the podcast.

The Guardian says almost six thousand people came to the first Football Weekly live tour in 2022, which featured Mark Langdon’s Meat Raffle, Barry’s rendition of Call Me Maybe and Steve Claridge eating industrial quantities of fruit.

For 2023 football fans can find Max, Barry and guests in:

  • London - Monday 13 November
  • Bristol - Tuesday 14 November - sold out!
  • Manchester - Wednesday 15 November
  • Dublin - Monday 20 and Tuesday 21 November - sold out!
  • Brighton - Wednesday 22 November

Tickets for Football Weekly Live are available here now. If fans can’t get to one of the available dates or cities listed in-person, the show to end all shows in Brighton (Wednesday 22 November) will also be livestreamed. Tickets are available for the livestream here.

Max Rushden, host of Football Weekly, says: “I wasn't sure this book was going to be any good, but I didn't want to not be involved in case it was. I hadn't seen it until Dr Karl Kennedy from Neighbours brought his copy to the pub and it turns out it's way better than I thought it would be. I look forward to sitting behind a desk at the live tour ready to sign thousands of copies while people walk straight past me and go to the bar/ask Barry for a selfie.”

Barry Glendenning, host of Football Weekly, says: “From our first ideas meeting over an unappetising lunch at Borough Market, through the long litany of passive aggressive Whatsapp messages and emails sent by Jonathan Wilson in his role as editor, to sitting at a desk in Guardian Towers signing 300 copies in one sitting, every step in the process of delivering this Football Weekly book has been an unequivocal joy. Going on tour in November ought to be even more of a pleasure and as a man of the people, I look forward to obsessively tidying backstage theatre green rooms across the UK and in Dublin while my less conscientious Football Weekly colleagues look on with detached bewilderment.”

Jonathan Wilson, editor, The Football Weekly Book, says: “There are no blank pages so I don't think anybody could say I hadn't fulfilled my contract.”

As previously, a range of Football Weekly merchandise will be available to purchase on the tour and some is already available here online. This includes The Football Weekly Book, t-shirts designed by cartoonist David Squires and mugs referencing the best quotes from the podcast, as well as ‘half-and-half’ scarves printed with the faces of Max and Barry.

Currently providing analysis on the 2023 Premier League, the publisher says the podcast regularly features at the top of the football and sports podcast charts in the UK and has won a number of sports industry awards, most recently at the Football Supporters’ Association Awards where it was named podcast of the year. Football Weekly launched in 2006 and the Guardian says it is one of their longest-running and most popular podcasts, gaining over six million listens during the World Cup in December 2022.

The Football Weekly podcast is available to listen on the Guardian, Acast, Apple Podcasts, Spotify and all other podcast services.

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