‘A paean to football before the days of big money and soulless stadia.’ – The i Goalkeepers in trousers, proper division names, turf patterns, pixelated scoreboards and, of course, Saturday evening pink newspapers… They were the gritty stardust that made football sparkle.Here, 50 such wonders are drawn together with evocative charm before they slip from memory forever. Dedicating a chapter to each wonder, Daniel Gray’s pieces read more like love letters than essays. Here is a sentimental meander beneath main-stand clocks and through streets where children still play football. Written in the same wistful and whimsical style as Gray’s much-admired previous book, Saturday, 3pm, the unashamedly nostalgic Black Boots and Football Pinks will warm the heart and prompt fond sighs of recognition. Gray’s words preserve on paper the relics and minutiae of a shared obsession and identity. They make yesterday’s football feel within touching distance, and offer cosy refuge from a boisterous game and world.