Many of you may not know who Simon Inglis is, but you’ll definitely remember his name after you listen to the latest episode of the EPL Talk Podcast, just released yesterday.
Inglis is best known for his famous book, The Football Grounds of England and Wales, which was an exhaustive review from the mid 80s of each of the 92 stadiums in the top four divisions. Before Inglis, no one had really taken time to capture the grittiness and history of the stadiums. Every nook and cranny of the grounds was explored and detailed beautifully in his opus.
His timing couldn’t have been better. The book was published in 1985 prior to the Taylor Report, so his accounts of the stadiums were frozen in time as he described the banks of terracing, pre-WW2 stands and unique characteristics (although many of the grounds were in a sorry state). After the Taylor Report was issued, football stadiums in Britain were never the same. Terracing was removed and all-seater stadiums became the norm, increasing the safety of spectators but reducing the atmosphere at the same time.
But Inglis is more than a football stadium expert. He’s a storyteller and an expert speaker who unravels many of the mysteries of football (and sport) for us to enjoy. To me, his finest book is Engineering Archie, which tells the story of Archibald Leitch, the greatest football stadium architect of all time. But that’s another story for another time.