SAFC fan’s book finds fun amid all the ‘Relentless Misery’

A football fan has written a book about the ‘joys’ of following your team.

Friday, 20th August 2021, 5:00 am

When Sunderland were relegated to League One in 2018, Davey Ashfield’s son said to him: “Dad. It’s relentless misery supporting us”. Relentless Misery became the title of the book.

Davey has followed his beloved team around the country over 60 years, for very little reward apart from a treasure trove of stories. Retired from the oil and gas industry, he was dreading a spinal operation in January and decided to start writing before then.

The operation was unsuccessful, but happily a second one in May worked well. In between operations he had almost completed the book, most of which concerns the woeful experiences of Sunderland fans, but with a few Newcastle tales too.

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Davey Ashfield has written a book about the "Relentless Misery" of being a football supporter.

Davey said: “I had lots of friends who were Newcastle fans, so I put a few of their stories in too. It’s not about hooligans, or plastic Man United fans. It’s about proper, ordinary supporters and what they’ve been through. It’s the supporters who make the clubs what they are.”

Originally from Shiney Row, Davey now lives in Devon, so Exeter and Torquay feature too as do Partick Thistle, Stoke City and others. Football has provided plenty of misery to share.

He added: “We always said we should write a book about following the lads and travelling away. I said I would try to get it out.

“I started writing it before Christmas. I’d finished the first draft by February 13 and sent it to my son. Of course while I was writing a book about the misery of being a Sunderland supporter, we went and won the Papa John’s Trophy in March.”

Davey Ashfield's new book.

But “happily” for Davey, Sunderland went on to lose the play-offs in May. However, there was genuine good news too for him then, after his second operation was a success.

He continued: “Then I said let’s wait and see what happens in the Euros. There was Scotland getting beat, then all the hype about England. The book ends with us wondering how the tournament would end for England.”

Spoiler alert. The Euros ended with England losing yet another penalty shoot-out and more Relentless Misery.

The book is available from A Love Supreme, priced £8.99. A Kindle version is £2.99.

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