State of Play is a 2018 Sunday Times Sports Book of the Year.

Michael Calvin’s State of Play marks the pinnacle of a career investigating the human stories of football.

From mental health to money, concussion to Champions league, fan-owners to oligarchs, women’s football to world cups, Calvin gets under the skin of the beautiful game, and reveals why it is truly the game of our lives.

The full Sunday Times review reads:

The first book to treat football as a serious cultural and social subject was Arthur Hopcraft’s The Football Man, published in 1968. Fifty years later, Calvin has emulated Hopcraft as “a reporter trying to reach to the heart of what football is”. The result is thought-provoking and well wrought, with a particularly fine chapter on Jeff Astle, a 1960s and 1970s striker who suffered terminal brain damage from heading the ball.

State of Play was also longlisted in September this year for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award 2018.

Follow Michael here – and see more about State of Play here.