Back in the early 1980s Martin Amis compared harbouring an intellectual interest in football to being a pervert. Reviewing a preposterous anthropological study of the game, he outed himself as one of a rare breed. ‘Pointy-headed football-lovers are a beleaguered crew, despised by pointy-heads and football-lovers alike … Oh, how we have to cringe and hide,’ he wrote, echoing Humbert Humbert. Yes, high-minded football-types enjoyed the social cachet of Lolita’s nympholept.
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