Brimson, Dougie 1959–
Brimson, Dougie 1959–
Born 1959; married; wife's name Tina; children: Rebecca, Kayleigh, and Ben.
Agent—Jacque Evans Management Ltd., 14 Holmesley Rd., Ste. 1, London SE23 1PJ, England. E-mail—[email protected]
Writer. Presenter for television programs, including The Basement, Bravo TV; The Stock Car Show, Granada TV; and Madder Maxx, Granada TV. Producer for BriSCA Formula One Racing for C5, England. Also worked as a television and film extra; British Royal Air Force, served for eighteen years.
(With brother, Eddy Brimson) Everywhere We Go: Behind the Matchday Madness, Headline (London, England), 1996.
(With Eddy Brimson) England, My England: The Trouble with the National Football Team, Headline (London, England), 1996.
(With Eddy Brimson) Capital Punishment: London's Violent Football Following, Headline (London, England), 1997.
The Geezers' Guide to Football: A Lifetime of Lads and Lager, Mainstream (Edinburgh, Scotland), 1998.
(With Eddy Brimson) Derby Days: The Games We Love to Hate, Headline (London, England), 1998.
The Crew (fiction), Headline (London, England), 1999.
Billy's Log: The Hilarious Diary of One Man's Struggle with Life, Lager and the Female Race (fiction), Headline (London, England), 2000.
Barmy Army: The Changing Face of Football Violence, Headline (London, England), 2000.
Top Dog (fiction), Headline (London, England), 2001.
Eurotrashed: The Rise and Rise of Europe's Football Hooligans, Headline (London, England), 2003.
(With Lexi Alexander and Josh Shelov) Hooligans (screenplay; also titled Green Street Hooligans), Odd Lot Entertainment, 2005.
Kicking Off: Why Hooliganism and Racism Are Killing Football, Headline (London, England), 2006.
(Editor) Rebellion: The Inside Story of Football's Protest Movement, John Blake (London, England), 2006.
March of the Hooligans: Soccer's Bloody Fraternity, Virgin Books (New York, NY), 2007.
Also author of screenplay for It's a Casual Life, 2003. Books have been published in foreign languages.
Dougie Brimson is a writer who has written both novels and nonfiction books primarily focusing on British football (better known in the United States as soccer), the Brits' love of the game, and the violence associated with its fans. Brimson is considered one of the leading commentators on British football culture. According to the author, writing on his MySpace Web site, he and his brother, Eddy Brimson, had an idea to write about "hooliganism" in Great Britain's football culture, which resulted in their collaboration on the book Everywhere We Go: Behind the Matchday Madness. Since then, he has written other books with his brother, including England, My England: The Trouble with the National Football Team, Capital Punishment: London's Violent Football Following, and Derby Days: The Games We Love to Hate.
Brimson's prolific output includes many solo books, his first being a lighthearted look at British football and its fans titled The Geezers' Guide to Football: A Lifetime of Lads and Lager. He wrote his first novel, The Crew, after receiving encouragement to do so from television writer Linda La Plante and has since written several novels, including the sequel to The Crew titled Top Dog.
Although the author's fiction books have been well received in Great Britain, Brimson is predominantly known for his books about British football. In an interview on the Simplest Game Web site, the author related why he writes about football: "The primary reason is that I'm a football fan and so as I tell anyone who wants to write, the golden rule is write what you know." The author further explained: "In 1995, as EURO 96 approached and the country was already going hooligan crazy, there was nothing which discussed the issue from the perspective of those who were being perceived as the problem and so, having spotted a gap in the market, we (my brother and I) set out to fill that gap."
The author's 2000 book, Barmy Army: The Changing Face of Football Violence, received high praise from critics in the United Kingdom and is considered among the best books about Great Britain's football culture. He followed this book with Eurotrashed: The Rise and Rise of Europe's Football Hooligans and Kicking Off: Why Hooliganism and Racism Are Killing Football. He is also editor of Rebellion: The Inside Story of Football's Protest Movement, which examines various well-known football protests in Great Britain over the years.
Brimson has also written screenplays, including Hooligans, which he wrote with Lexi Alexander and Josh Shelov. Also titled Green Street Hooligans, the film revolves around Matt, an American who gets expelled from Harvard University after being framed for cocaine possession. Matt goes to London to start a new life. Living with his sister and her husband, Steve, Matt soon meets Steve's younger brother, Pete. One day Matt is attacked by football hooligans as he comes home from a football match. Saved by Pete and his friends, Matt learns that they are also football hooligans called the Green Street Elite. Before long, Matt, who has long been afraid of violence, finds himself involved with Great Britain's football violence as he and his newfound British friends head toward a climatic encounter with the fans of a hated football rival. In a review of Hooligans in Daily Variety, Joe Leydon noted: "Unvarnished verisimilitude, visceral impact and vividly evoked emotional and physical extremes distinguish Hooligans.
Brimson returns to his nonfiction focus on British football with March of the Hooligans: Soccer's Bloody Fraternity. Written primarily for an American audience, the book focuses on the history of British hooliganism associated with soccer and provides insights on how the fanatic violence associated with the game in Great Britain could end up spreading to the United States. According to the author, British football hooliganism dates back to the Middle Ages, and the sport was even banned by King Edward I because of disorderly conduct by the game's fans. He chronicles the history of this violence by fans and notes the game's growing popularity in the United States, with British stars such as David Beckham signing on to play for U.S. teams. The book includes an extensive glossary of slang related to British football.
"My view is that the book serves well as an introduction to the subject of hooliganism and gives an insider's view of the world," wrote a contributor to the EPL Talk Web site, adding that "the book is a snappy and enthralling read." Noting that the author "offers a captivating history of the outrageous behavior of British fans," a contributor to Kirkus Reviews wrote that March of the Hooligans is "chockablock with riveting, shocking tales of madness."
When asked what first got him interested in writing, Brimson told CA: "It was really fairly simple. I spotted an opportunity and dived right in with both feet. I tend to do that with most things I do in life, and it certainly worked here!
"I only ever write about things which interest and excite me, and that's the same with fiction and nonfiction. Ideas hit me all the time, but when one sparks off that buzz then I will run with it until it reaches some kind of conclusion. Sometimes that means publication or filming, sometimes it means that it simply runs out of steam and tails off to nothing. But I'm always happy whatever happens. After all, you never know!
"My writing process varies from book to book and from screenplay to screenplay, but deadlines and panic usually play a major role! The one quirk I seem to have is that when I write a novel or a screenplay, I always write the ending first. The reason for that is because I always write as if I'm seeing it on screen and I love spectacular closing scenes. So once I come up with an idea for an ending and have it all mapped out, I can set about constructing a story to get the central characters to where I want them to be. I don't know why, but it seems to work for me.
"The most surprising thing I have learned as a writer is that I can do it.
"Billy's Log is my favorite book, no question. It's a book once described as the male version of Bridget Jones's Diary, which is the greatest compliment I've ever had. The reason I love it so much is because it's basically about me and my best mate. Everything—and I mean everything—that happens in that book has happened to one of us. It still makes me laugh when I read it, and I would hope that anyone who has ever read it will understand why I enjoyed writing it so much! The book is actually in the process of being adapted for the screen and I am both excited and terrified to see what they make if it!
"My nonfiction books are very opinionated and very controversial, but the reason I write them is simply to spark debate and make people think. I have been slaughtered for some of the things I have written, especially in the U.S. after the publication of March of the Hooligans, but the simple truth is that pretty much everything I wrote or have said in interviews has come to pass. It's no fun saying I told you so, but the reality is that I've had to say it an awful lot over the last few years.
"Fiction-wise, I write to tell and story and to entertain and thankfully, judging by the response, I seem to be doing OK."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Daily Variety, October 20, 2003, Dana Harris, "Odd Lot Has No Trouble with Soccer ‘Hooligans’," information on film rights for March of the Hooligans: Soccer's Bloody Fraternity, p. 11; March 17, 2005, Joe Leydon, film review of Hooligans, p. 6.
Kirkus Reviews, October 1, 2007, review of March of the Hooligans.
Variety, March 21, 2005, Joe Leydon, film review of Hooligans, p. 25.
Dougie Brimson Home Page,http://www.brimson.net (July 21, 2008).
Dougie Brimson Myspace.com Web page,http://www.myspace.com/dougiebrimson (July 21, 2008).
EPL Talk,http://www.epltalk.com/ (December 20, 2007), review of March of the Hooligans.
Internet Movie Database,http://www.imdb.com/ (July 21, 2008), information on author's film work.
Jacque Evans Management Ltd.,http://www.jacqueevans.com/ (July 21, 2008), brief profile of author.
Simplest Game, http://thesimplestgame.blogspot.com/ (April 9, 2008), "The Simplest Game interviews … Dougie Brimson."