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Stamping Grounds: Exploring Liechtenstein and Its World Cup Dream Paperback – November 1, 2005

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group (November 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0349114889
  • ISBN-13: 978-0349114880
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.9 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,044,260 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


A damned good read ... charming, off the wall and well worth a tenner SUNDAY TIMES Connelly has a relaxed style and an intelligent eye for people and places ... his hilarious account of following the Liechtenstein national team should be swallowed whole in one sitting THE TIMES A wonderfully recondite book OBSERVER A must for anyone who loves the underdog. IRISH EXAMINER

About the Author

Charlie Connelly is a freelance writer specialising in travel and sport. He will be presenting BBC1's THE HOLIDAY PROGRAMME this autumn, and has been featured on Radio 4's EXCESS BAGGAGE, as well as writing for the award-winning Scottish Sunday Herald Magazine

More About the Author

Charlie Connelly is a bestselling author and award-winning broadcaster. He is the author of several successful books including 'Attention All Shipping' and 'And Did Those Feet'.

'Attention All Shipping', in which Charlie explores the legacy of the shipping forecast, is one of the biggest selling narrative non-fiction books of the past decade, was a Radio 4 Book of the Week, and in the audio version was voted the second greatest audiobook of all time in a Guardian/Waterstones poll.

'And Did Those Feet...: Walking Through 2000 Years of British History' was also a Radio 4 Book of the Week, read by Martin Freeman.

Having co-presented three series of 'Traveller's Tree' with Fi Glover for BBC Radio 4, Charlie devised and presented the acclaimed 'Noel Coward, The Poet' for the same channel. He has also appeared on numerous radio stations including BBC Radio 2, RTÉ Radio 1, Newstalk 106.2 and BBC Five Live, as well as being a popular presenter on BBC TV's Holiday programme (his first film winning the prestigious Silver Thistle award for international broadcasting).

He has sung Blue Moon of Kentucky live on Uzbek national television with the country's biggest pop star, lectured at the Royal Geographical Society, is an official ambassador for a breakaway Lithuanian republic, was once hounded by the UK national press after being falsely accused of intending to invade Rockall, was presented with an honorary team shirt with his name on by the Liechtenstein national football team and has been chased across the Great Plain by Hungarian gangsters. They thought he was someone else, but fortunately he didn't notice until they were arrested.

A former professional musician, mortuary attendant and once - remarkably - marketing manager for the Complete Works of Lenin in 47 volumes, Charlie was born and raised in London. He now lives in Ireland with a large collection of ukuleles and Charlton Athletic football programmes.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A. Ross HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 31, 2009
Format: Paperback
A quirky combination of travelogue and soccer aficionado essay, this book succeeds and fails in fits and starts. The premise is fairly straightforward, Connelly decides to investigate the state of soccer in the nation that is the laughingstock of the sport in Europe: Liechtenstein. Basically, he's interested in the process by which a country of around 30,000 people fields a team to compete against sides loaded with international superstars in the quadrennial European and World Cup qualifying rounds. Armed with little more than a 50-year-old guidebook to the country and an enthusiastic email response from the country's tourism agency (er, agent), he sallies forth and installs himself in a guesthouse in the capital.

Naturally, Connelly provides the requisite potted history the the wee place, which is delivered in the straightforward prose seasoned with quips and asides that has become the default style for travelogues ever since Bill Bryson started making the bestseller lists. Sandwiched between Austria and Switzerland, Liechtenstein has been a sleepy collection of valleys and villages until the last thirty or so years, which has seen it emerge as a financial services powerhouse with a phenomenal standard of living. In a relatively brief amount of time, Connelly manages to make a number of contacts who are all too willing to show him the splendors of Liechtenstein. Alas for him, this often involves strenuous hikes...

As nice as everyone is, the real focus of the book is on football, and the national side's journey through the qualifying rounds for the 2002 World Cup.
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