‘Kick and Run’ Author Jonathan Wilson’s 11 Favorite Works of Soccer Literature

Best known for his short stories and novels, author Jonathan Wilson has veered into memoir with Kick and Run, an account of his lifelong love of soccer. Funny and always full of heart, Wilson’s distinctive storytelling style sets it apart from your average fan’s tale of the world’s most popular sport. The book takes us from Wilson’s childhood, growing up Jewish in postwar England, through his travels around the world and plenty of other big life experiences, connecting it all to his love of the game.


Since his love for the game is infectious, and his writing always leaves us wanting more, we asked Wilson for his ten favorite soccer books. He prefaced his list with the following note: “I offer this list in no particular order. I guess it should really be the Eleven Best Books, 4-4-2 or 4-3-3 plus a goalkeeper. I discounted from the start all books that in one way or another attempted to “explain” soccer to Americans.”

With that, we present to you Jonathan Wilson’s favorite soccer literature: books that both big-time football fans and novices who only break out the jerseys for Word Cup time should read.