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Summary

I've Got Mail is the brand new book from Jeff Stelling, the Sunday Times best-selling author and host of Sky Sports' iconic football show Soccer Saturday. Reproducing a selection of correspondence he has received down the years, Stelling tells some intriguing stories around his experiences in broadcasting and football. This charming book is by turns warm and funny, moving and poignant, and invariably underpinned by a deeply rooted love of football and people.

"It arrived while I was playing football. I remember my mum running towards me, dressed in pinny and slippers, waving a piece of flesh coloured paper, gripped in her hand, the print all in slightly faded block capitals. But the message from my new employer was clear and urgent.

BERNARD GENT UNWELL. GO TO LEEDS IMMEDIATELY. COVER LEEDS UNITED V MIDDLESBROUGH

It was the first and last telegram I ever received. It was a message that probably changed the course of my life. It was the first of many pieces of correspondence during my life which have made me laugh, cry or perhaps influenced my pathway in a more significant way.

Receiving letters by post or via e-mail has always been important to me. Even now I feel slightly disappointed if the postman passes the door without anything for me, even though I know the chances are it will be a bill, a parking fine, a bank statement or a catalogue offering me clothing or garden furniture. The same applies when my inbox is empty save for someone offering a deal on a used car or urging me to change my energy provider. 

These days my mail is often from total strangers, usually with a simple birthday or autograph request. But at times the correspondence is emotional, and sometimes it is angry. Occasionally I'm entrusted with personal issues that the correspondents probably would not tell their closest friends. The only thing they all have in common is they start 'Dear Jeff'. Or almost all do...."

©2020 Jeff Stelling (P)2020 Headline Publishing Group Ltd

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Unlistenable

I urge people who are interested in this book to buy the physical book as the content is very good and entertaining, albeit that there is some repetition of content in Jellyman’s Thrown a Wobbly.

The audiobook though is unlistenable. Whilst the gentleman who reads it is OK and would undoubtedly do a good job of narrating, say, a novel, they have chosen a narrator with a generic North East accent. Although Jeff Stelling comes from the North East, he does not have a strong accent. It is to quote Kammy, Unbelievable.

I just wish that Jeff could have narrated it himself.