Finn McCool's Football Club: The Birth, Death, and Resurrection of a Pub Soccer Team in the City of the Dead

Finn McCool's Football Club: The Birth, Death, and Resurrection of a Pub Soccer Team in the City of the Dead

by Stephen Rea


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In 2004, Belfast-born Stephen Rea moved to New Orleans, a city where "football" means something entirely different than what it does back home. After struggling to find a place to watch European soccer games, Rea discovered Finn McCool's pub and its mixed clientele of good-humored European ex-pats, charismatic New Orleanians, and assorted matchless personalities. Before long he was playing on the pub's motley over-thirty-five fledgling soccer team. Gathered at the bar on August 27, 2005, members of the team were discussing their upcoming match, untroubled by the impending storm and unknowing that their city and team would nearly be obliterated by Hurricane Katrina in a matter of hours. Days later, the lucky among them were scattered across the country; the others struggled to survive as they awaited rescue in New Orleans. With clarity and compassion, Rea examines the disaster as he profiles the experiences of his teammates and their efforts to resurrect the team and pub that had become so central in all of their lives. A gripping and moving memoir about an unusual pub team and a devastating natural disaster, Finn McCool’s Football Club is a celebration of ex-pats and pubs, soccer and sportsmanship, and the strength it takes to rebuild a team, a city, and a life.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781510715080
Publisher: Skyhorse
Publication date: 06/27/2017
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 360
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Stephen Rea is a freelance writer who has been watching the World Cup for four decades. He is originally from Belfast, Northern Ireland but has lived in New Orleans, Louisiana since 2004. A former national newspaper journalist in the UK, he penned the critically-acclaimed memoir Finn McCool’ s Football Club and writes a weekly column for the official website of the English Premier League club Chelsea.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments 9

Prologue 11

Chapter 1 Macca 21

Chapter 2 Frank the Tank 29

Chapter 3 Coming to America 37

Chapter 4 Living in America 45

Chapter 5 Let Me Play, Buddy! 55

Chapter 6 I Like to Watch 67

Chapter 7 Finn McCool's 77

Chapter 8 And So It Begins 85

Chapter 9 Mardi Gras 93

Chapter 10 Home Is Where the Heart Is 103

Chapter 11 Our First Game 113

Chapter 12 Our First Victory 121

Chapter 13 We Hit a Pothole 129

Chapter 14 Gringo Ken 139

Chapter 15 An Eight-Goal Thriller 149

Chapter 16 The Calm Before the Storm 157

Chapter 17 Landfall 167

Chapter 18 Katrina By the Numbers 177

Chapter 19 The End of the World as We Know It 179

Chapter 20 You Need Friends 187

Chapter 21 The Healing Power of Soccer 193

Chapter 22 Think You've Got It Bad? 203

Chapter 23 Journey to the City of the Dead 213

Chapter 24 Texas (Will) Hold 'Em 225

Chapter 25 I Like to Watch: Part Two 233

Chapter 26 Benji to the Rescue 243

Chapter 27 Through the Looking Glass 251

Chapter 28 Trip(s) Home 261

Chapter 29 The Bag Boy 275

Chapter 30 Click Your Heels Three Times 283

Chapter 31 The Surreal Life 291

Chapter 32 The Real Life 301

Chapter 33 Rebuild. Recover. Re-New Orleans 309

Chapter 34 FEMA McCool's 317

Chapter 35 The End Game 323

Epilogue 327

Afterword 337

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