Stand Up Sit Down
A Choice to Watch Football
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For a hundred years most supporters watched football from terraces, a culture that was an integral part of the game. By the 1980s though, neglected stadia, hooliganism and a lack of concern for safety meant that football had to change, and after 96 Liverpool fans tragically died at Hillsborough, Lord Taylor's report recommended that our grounds should be all-seated. Many people however believe that something of the soul has been taken away from watching football and that standing is the natural way to feel part of the game.
In Stand Up Sit Down Peter Caton considers the arguments for and against the choice to stand to watch football. He visits the 23 English grounds that still have terraces, seeking the views of clubs and supporters, travels to Yorkshire to watch rugby league and to Germany to stand on a convertible terrace. With extensively researched background, the author analyses the disasters and hooliganism that led to all-seating, and the many changes that have occurred in the game. He considers various solutions proposed to allow standing, and highlights obstacles facing those backing the choice to stand. His own experiences of watching football at all levels add insight and interest. The book ends by asking its own questions and with a whiff of conspiracy.
Illustrated with colour photographs, Stand Up Sit Down is a fascinating read, which unearths some surprising facts and raises many controversial issues relevant to all who love football.
PUBLISHED by Matador (Troubador) 1st June 2012
Finished the book over the bank holiday weekend and have to say it is fantastic. Never really understood what happened at Hillsborough in detail and thought the book provides a really unbiased, detailed account. Also manages to talk about the Taylor Report, Green Guide, etc without being tedious. Well worth a read if you're interested in the whole safe standing issue.
Having read the book, I am left with the impression that anyone else doing likewise with even a moderately open mind would find it hard to conclude that the current situation is anything other than both illogical and unworkable. A must-read for all wishing to gain a full understanding of all aspects of the safe standing debate.
- Jon Darch
I have just finished your book and thought it was a really good read. Very well researched and laid out. It must have been difficult to summarise the enormity of Hillsborough, but you've managed it. I had to put the book down for a bit after that chapter and reflect a while.
I judge a factual book from what I learn. I learned a lot from this excellent read on a topic close to many football supporters' hearts - the right to watch their game as they wish.
This book explores all the issues around standing at football in a coherent, considered way. It's also a very good read. Mr Caton has done his little bit to advance an argument and increase the store of human knowledge. Well done!
- Vic Crescit (online review)
For years now, we've been led to believe that terracing was a contributory factor to the horrific deaths of Liverpool supporters at Hillsborough. We are now all aware that terracing was not to blame in any way, shape or form. This book takes apart all the myths and mistruths (generally pedalled by those with their own agendas) surrounding the campaign for safe, modern standing areas for the modern day fan and details the huge frustrations faced by campaigners over the years. A must read for all supporters, regardless of which club they support.
A great read dealing with an important issue- really it's about regulation and choice - if it's possible to create a safe standing environment and fans want it and are willing to pay for it, why can't they have it? See the Soccernomics website for a review of the book in more detail.
- Stefan Szymanski
This book is one of the most informative pieces of literature that I have come across. I was educated on a subject I thought I knew a substantial amount about to a new level of understanding.
The author is able to articulately and accurately provide the reader with detailed information: the background leading to the Taylor report is extremely informative, and the book actually shows that a lot of common conceptions with regards to terracing and fan behaviour are in fact, totally misguided. Each part develops logically, and you are never overwhelmed with information. It provides the arguments for an against giving fans the choice as to whether they should be able to sit or stand in a clear, concise manner without preaching to the reader, unearthing new facts and drawing up new, unanswered questions in the process.
This book is a must read for all fans of football, regardless of their club, age or views on standing.
- Joseph Walker