Author Filipe Stilwell d’ Avillez is obsessed with football and lives and breathes the game.
And he is not alone. The game is like a religion to supporters from Filipe’s home country of Portugal.
What makes it so special though is the customs and culture associated with the game, it’s more than just kicking a ball for supporters.
The biggest match of the footballing calendar is the cup final, held in Portugal’s equivalent of Wembley Stadium.
Since 1946 Jamor Stadium has hosted the final in front of 39,000 fans and only five times has the game been played at another location.
The history of the venue is embedded in a Portuguese supporter’s way of life and Filipe has written a wonderful book called One Thousand Miles to Jamor in tribute to this special place.
The Pitch Publishing book provides a unique window into the footballing culture and begins with the crazy away supporters of Graciosa and exploits of fans from Casa Pia, Angrense, Tondela and Leixões, who have strong connections with the game.
But it is the way that Filipe expresses the drama and love for the game which captures the reader’s imagination.
He describes the specialness of Jamor, which is sited amid a dense forest and on cup final day, it is swamped by fans.
Pigs are roasted on skewers and drinks are aplenty as everyone soaks up the fantastic atmosphere in the sweltering heat. Ticketless families arrive in camper vans and set up their picnic tables ready to join in the fun.
Filipe has dedicated the book to his mother Mary Anne, who never could understand his obsession for Jamor and to his daughter Mary Anne, who has proved to be just as obsessed as her father.
Part of the fun of the book is reading about the humble fan and what makes them turn from ordinary citizens into passionate and emotional people once they head into the stadium.
It’s not a football Bible, more a great read with some touching stories and written with true passion which makes you want to book a seat for the next cup final and see what all the fuss is about.
Publication date: 2nd March 2020
UK Price: £16.99
Format: 216 x 138mm, Paperback
One Thousand Miles To Jamor – A Journey into Portuguese Football
By Filipe d’ Avillez
Published by Pitch Publishing
For information and to order a copy of One Thousand Miles To Jamor, please visit: www.pitchpublishing.co.uk.
Rebecca Hay is an experienced travel writer and member of The British Guild of Travel Writers. Follow her adventures with her family on Twitter and Instagram @emojiadventurer and on Facebook via EmojiAdventurers2.
Image courtesy of Pitch Publishing