Surf Coast Football Club (SCFC) stalwart and local resident David Picken has recently launched a book, The Time of My Football Life.
Mr Picken has been involved with SCFC in various capacities for about a decade.
He co-coached the clubs first female side and also served of the clubs board for a few years.
Growing up in England ,Mr Picken was 16 when he saw World Cup fever grip the nation, with England both hosting and winning the 1966 edition.
Yet Mr Picken said he was regrettably unable to attend any of the games.
“I didn’t actually go to any of the games, even though I was mad about football at the time.”
Forty years later, though, he was able to amend this, as his long service leave at Deakin University in Geelong corresponded with the 2006 World Cup in Germany.
This time fortune was on Mr Picken’s side. He had friends in Germany who he could stay with, and in addition to England being in the World Cup, Australia had also managed to qualify for the tournament for the first time in 32 years.
The experience was worth the wait for Mr Picken, and he resolved to write his adventures down.
Mr Picken said he “really just wrote it for family and friends,” but later an opportunity came up.
This came through Fair Play Publishing, a recently founded organisation focused on publishing books on sport, soccer in particular.
Mr Picken said he decided to see if they were interested in his story.
“I wrote to them and said ‘I’ve written this book, if you’re interested it sounds like the sort of thing you are talking about when you describe your project.’ They responded very quickly saying they would like to publish it.”
Mr Picken explains the book is as much about the cultural experience of attending the event as the event itself.
“The book does have a football theme, it’s about going to the World Cup. In some ways it’s as much a travel book as it is a football book. It’s that kind of anecdotal approach to making a journey.”
He said that in writing his story he was able to recall memories he had lost and see his story from a new perspective.
“It was almost like you were playing music and improvising, it sort of comes from nowhere.”
Football commentator Simon Hill was part of the book launch late last year.